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Chancellor Merkel condemns poisoning attack on Sergei Skripal in telephone conversation with PM May

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minster May in Berlin on 20 July 2016

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minster May in Berlin on 20 July 2016, © dpa

14.03.2018 - Press release

On 13 March, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Theresa May held a telephone conversation to discuss the poisoning attack in Salisbury.

The Chancellor strongly condemned the attack and assured the Prime Minister that she took the British Government’s assessment regarding a Russian responsibility for the attack extremely seriously.

It was for Russia to provide swift answers to the British Government’s legitimate questions and to respond to the call for full and immediate disclosure of the relevant chemical weapons programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The Chancellor and Prime Minister agreed to remain in close contact and consult in an appropriate manner with allies and European partners.

In his inaugural speech in Berlin on 14 March, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said:

We are most concerned about the events surrounding the poisoning, and we take the UK Government’s assessment very seriously.

It is disappointing that Russia does not yet appear willing to assist with the inquiry. Moscow should create transparency and declare its position on the case – either bilaterally to the United Kingdom or within the framework of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

One thing is clear –  this attack must have consequences. The perpetrators must be brought to justice. We will remain in close contact with the UK Government on this issue. We understand full well that the United Kingdom had to respond.