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Official speeches and statements - March 15, 2018

Published on March 15, 2018

United Kingdom – Russia – Telephone conversation between the French President and Mrs Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris, March 15, 2018)

On the morning of Thursday 15 March, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May again discussed the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury by means of a chemical weapon.

The Prime Minister informed the President of the investigation’s progress and the details of the measures announced the previous day.

Since the beginning of the week, the United Kingdom has kept France closely informed of the evidence gathered by British investigators, as well as the elements showing Russia’s responsibility in the attack. France shares the UK’s conclusion that there is no other plausible explanation, and reiterates its solidarity with its ally.

The President and the Prime Minister condemn any use of chemical weapons. They reiterate the importance of fully complying with international conventions and their commitment to the fight against impunity for the use of chemical weapons. Our two countries will continue to cooperate in this field, in particular through the OPCW, UN and NATO, in coordination with our European Union partners.

The French President and the British Prime Minister agreed on the importance of European and transatlantic unity in responding to this event. They will remain in close contact in the coming days./.

UK/Russia/Salisbury attack - Joint statement by the heads of state and government of France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom¹ (Paris, March 15, 2018)

We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, abhor the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, UK, on 4 March 2018. A British police officer who was also exposed in the attack remains seriously ill, and the lives of many innocent British citizens have been threatened. We express our sympathies to them all, and our admiration for the UK police and emergency services for their courageous response.

This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War. It is an assault on UK sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law. It threatens the security of us all.

The United Kingdom briefed thoroughly its allies that it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for the attack. We share the UK assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia´s failure to address the legitimate request by the UK government further underlines its responsibility. We call on Russia to address all questions related to the attack in Salisbury. Russia should in particular provide full and complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Our concerns are also heightened against the background of a pattern of earlier irresponsible Russian behaviour. We call on Russia to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold international peace and security./.

¹ Source of English text: 10 Downing Street website.