Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign Secretary calls for a united response on the Salisbury incident
Boris Johnson has spoken to some of the world’s top diplomats following the use of a military grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, in Salisbury.
While we await an explanation from Russia of how a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia came to be used in the UK, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been calling his counterparts and leaders of international organisations to set out what we know and our concerns that, if as we suspect is highly likely the Russian state was responsible, this would be further reckless behaviour which threatens the international community and requires an international response.
The Foreign Secretary has emphasised that if this was a direct act by the Russian state then it would not simply be a threat to the UK, but a clear violation of the chemical weapons convention, a breach of international law and a threat to those who abide by the rules-based international order as a whole.
The French Foreign Minister Le Drian offered France’s total solidarity for an unacceptable act, and noted that President Macron had promised to stand by the UK as it prepares to take concrete measures against Russia’s breach of international order. The French government stressed particular concerns about Russia’s use of chemical weapons elsewhere, as is evident with their support to Asad’s murderous regime in Syria.
In speaking to the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, the Foreign Secretary emphasised how countering Russian disinformation, halting Russia’s adventurism in the western Balkans and reducing Russia’s ongoing involvement in Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis were issues of paramount importance to Germany and the UK alike.
Speaking to the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, the Foreign Secretary reiterated the importance of NATO standing together to counter the threat Russia poses not just to the UK, but to our NATO allies also. He was pleased that the NATO Secretary General expressed his support and solidarity, and agreed that NATO unity was paramount, as it was to counter other existing threats to NATO partners, including in eastern Europe where UK troops are stationed alongside troops from various Allies. They both agreed that Russian actions repeatedly threaten the security of NATO partners – from the Baltics, Balkans, Ukraine and Georgia – and NATO must stand as an alliance to call out Putin’s behaviour. The UK will brief the North Atlantic Council at tomorrow’s session.
- Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @BorisJohnson and Facebook
- Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook
- Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn
Newsdesk 020 7008 3100
Latest News from
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Supporting Montenegro in combatting corruption10/12/2018 15:25:00
Ambassador Alison Kemp recently (07 December 2018) spoke at the XII National Anti-Corruption Conference in Podgorica.
UK Statement on Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Aleppo10/12/2018 14:10:00
A statement given recently (07 December 2018) from the UK on Allegations of chemical weapons use in Aleppo, Syria.
Climate Change Minister visits Poland for UN conference on climate change10/12/2018 11:42:00
Minister Mark Field visited Poland on 6-8 December to discuss Paris Agreement commitments and green innovation at the UN climate change conference.
Early peacebuilding and prevention to avoid escalation of violence07/12/2018 14:48:00
Statement given yesterday by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council Open Debate: A greater involvement of States, sub-regional and regional Organisations for more effective conflict prevention and resolution, in close cooperation with the United Nations.
UK statement to ICC Assembly of States Parties 17th session06/12/2018 16:25:00
Statement given yesterday by Andrew Murdoch, Legal Director to the International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties, at its 17th session in The Hague.
Lessons on building and sustaining peace06/12/2018 15:47:00
Statement given yesterday by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council Briefing on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace.
Foreign Secretary statement on Iranian ballistic missile launch06/12/2018 12:25:00
Jeremy Hunt condemns dangerous and provocative ballistic missile action.
MI6 'C' speech on fourth generation espionage04/12/2018 14:10:00
MI6 Chief Alex Younger yesterday spoke on how the Secret Intelligence Service is evolving in response to hybrid threats and pioneering new approaches to keep the UK safe.