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Finland's President Niinistö condemns UK nerve agent attack

Sauli Niinistö said the use of nerve agent in an attempted murder was a "shocking act and a very serious blow" to international security.

Sauli Niinistö
Image: Seppo Samuli / Lehtikuva

President of Finland Sauli Niinistö released a statement on Wednesday condemning the nerve agent attack in Salisbury on 4 March which left a former spy and his daughter critically ill in hospital. 

"The use of military grade neurotoxins in the attempted murder in Great Britain is a shocking act and a very serious blow to international security," said Niinistö. "Finland condemns the use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in all situations and by anyone."

British Prime minister Theresa May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday.The UK government had set a deadline of midnight on Tuesday for Russia to explain how the nerve agent Novichok, which was developed by Soviet scientists in the 1970s and 80s, came to be used in Britain. 

EU Council President Donald Tusk had also on Wednesday condemned the attack, saying that EU heads of government would consider their collective response next week

Niinistö called for Russia to provide clarity on the case. He went on to say that both of the provided alternative explanations of the event, deliberate action on the part of Russia or the possibility that dangerous substances are not under its control, are “very worrying.” 

In his statement, Niinistö said that the use of military grade neurotoxin in the attempted murder of former spy Sergei Skripal in Great Britain is a shocking act and a very serious blow to international security.

Niinistö said it was imperative that the case is thoroughly investigated. 

“Full clarity of the case must be established and perpetrators must be held accountable for their actions,” Niinistö's statement read. 

Finally, the President said Finland is ready to give all its support and assistance to Great Britain and is working closely with other EU countries and partners.

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