Britain blames Russia for nerve agent attack on former spy

The prime minister, who resisted an open inquiry into Russia’s role in that case, was under pressure to show more resolve this time. The March 4 nerve agent attack on Sergei V. Skripal, who was an informant for Britain’s foreign intelligence service, and his daughter, Yulia, occurred in and around public spaces in the city of Salisbury, and risked exposing bystanders to lethal chemicals.

“It is now clear that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia,” Mrs. May said in the House of Commons. “The government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.”

She said that either the poisoning was a “direct act of the Russian state against our country” or that Moscow had lost control of its nerve agent and had allowed it to get into the hands of others. The prime minister said she expected a response from Russia on Tuesday.