British woman exposed to Novichok nerve agent dies: police

British woman exposed to Novichok nerve agent dies: police
Pedestrians walk past police officers standing guard near barriers across Rollestone Street, outside the John Baker House Sanctuary Supported Living in Salisbury, southern England, on July 8, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 09 July 2018

British woman exposed to Novichok nerve agent dies: police

British woman exposed to Novichok nerve agent dies: police
  • Britain has accused Russia of poisoning the Skripals with Novichok in what is the first known offensive use of such a chemical weapon on European soil since World War Two
  • That incident left former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who was visiting from Russia, in a critical condition although they later recovered

LONDON: A woman exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in southwest England, near where a Russian spy was targeted by the same type of chemical in March, has died, police said Sunday.
Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “appalled and shocked” by the death of Dawn Sturgess, one of two people who fell ill last weekend in Amesbury, near the town of Salisbury.
“Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder,” she said.
She offered her condolences to the relatives and loved ones of Sturgess, 44, who had three children. She became ill alongside a man named locally as Charlie Rowley, 45.
They were believed to have become exposed to Novichok by handling a container, and a link to the Salisbury attack in March is a main line of investigation.
That incident left former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who was visiting from Russia, in a critical condition although they later recovered.
Britain and its allies blamed Moscow for trying to kill the pair, prompting angry denials that led to an international diplomatic crisis.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of Britain’s counter-terror police, said Sturgess’ death was “shocking and tragic news.”
“The 45-year-old man who fell ill with Dawn remains critically ill in hospital and our thoughts are with him and his family as well,” he said in a statement.
“This terrible news has only served to strengthen our resolve to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for what I can only describe as an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act.
“Detectives will continue with their painstaking and meticulous work to gather all the available evidence so that we can understand how two citizens came to be exposed with such a deadly substance that tragically cost Dawn her life.”
 


Kremlin says would welcome Biden’s efforts to extend New START arms control treaty

Kremlin says would welcome Biden’s efforts to extend New START arms control treaty
Updated 20 January 2021

Kremlin says would welcome Biden’s efforts to extend New START arms control treaty

Kremlin says would welcome Biden’s efforts to extend New START arms control treaty
  • The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) accord limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads
  • A failure to extend New START could fuel a potential arms race and tensions between Moscow and Washington

MOSCOW: The Kremlin said on Wednesday it remained committed to extending the New START nuclear arms control treaty with the United States and would welcome efforts promised by the administration of US President-elect Joe Biden to reach agreement.
The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) accord, which was signed in 2010 and expires in February, limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy.
“Russia and its president are in favor of preserving this agreement,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call. “If our American colleagues will in fact demonstrate a political will to preserve this pact by extending it, this can only be welcomed.”
Biden’s choice for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Tuesday that the incoming US administration would seek to extend the pact and decide how long an extension to pursue.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last year called on Washington to extend the last major nuclear arms pact between the two countries for a year without any conditions.
A failure to extend New START could fuel a potential arms race and tensions between Moscow and Washington.