Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Salisbury attack: Foreign Secretary's remarks to media at the March 2018 Foreign Affairs Council
Boris Johnson spoke to media before Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on international support for UK relating to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
Good morning. I have been very heartened already by the strength of the support that the UK is getting in respect of the incident in Salisbury and I think that is partly because they can see that Britain is acting [with] punctilious accordance with our obligations under the Treaty on Chemical Weapons and I would contrast that with how the Russians are behaving.
Today the technical experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are arriving in the UK to take the samples from Salisbury and in the meantime the Russian denials grow increasingly absurd. At one time they say that they never made Novichok, at another time they say that they did make Novichok but all the stocks have been destroyed. Then again they say that they made Novichok but all the stocks have been destroyed but some of them have mysteriously escaped to Sweden or at the Czech Republic or Slovakia or the United States – or even – America, or the United Kingdom.
I think what people can see is that this is a classic Russian strategy of trying to conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation. And what really strikes me talking to European friends and partners today is that 12 years after the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in London they are not fooling anybody anymore. There is scarcely a country around the table – here in Brussels – that has not been affected by some kind of malign or disruptive Russian behaviour and that is why I think the strength and the resolve of our European friends is so striking today. Thank you very much.
Read more about the government’s response to the Salisbury attack.
Latest News from
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
More life-saving support for India on its way from UK07/05/2021 16:25:00
A cargo plane left Belfast today, carrying 3 surplus 18-tonne oxygen generators and 1,000 ventilators as part of the UK’s response to India’s COVID-19 crisis.
WTO Trade Negotiations Committee: UK Statement04/05/2021 14:22:00
The UK's Permanent Representative to the WTO in Geneva, Simon Manley, yesterday addressed WTO Heads of Delegation for the first time during the Trade Negotiations Committee.
UK sends oxygen factories to support India30/04/2021 12:25:00
The UK will send further vital oxygen equipment to India in support of the country’s fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
UNECE Commission Session 2021: UK statement22/04/2021 16:10:00
Statement given recently (20 April 2021) by Miriam Shearman, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva during the UNECE Commission Session 2021.
New global partnership launched to fight future pandemics20/04/2021 16:14:00
The Government will launch a new Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP) to save lives from future diseases and prevent another global pandemic.
Serbia: UK and Serbia sign Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement20/04/2021 14:10:00
The UK and Serbia are to strengthen business ties by signing a Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Fish eye lenses: UK launches world’s largest ocean monitoring system to protect wildlife and biodiversity06/04/2021 14:10:00
The UK will pioneer the world’s largest ocean wildlife monitoring system to help protect life below water as part of the UK Government Blue Belt programme.
Global summit to help those most vulnerable fight climate change31/03/2021 13:27:00
Countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change will help set the international agenda.