Britain’s abandonment of due process has taken a dangerous and reckless leap, with Theresa May declaring economic sanctions and diplomatic expulsions for Russia’s “failure” to respond to allegations over the Skripal poisoning.
Provocatively, Moscow was given a 24-hour deadline to “answer” charges leveled by the British government that it was responsible for the attempted murder of a Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, who had been living in England since 2010 after a spy-swap deal.
Skripal (66) and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were apparently stricken with a deadly nerve agent in his adopted hometown of Salisbury on March 4 while strolling through a public park. The pair have been receiving treatment in intensive care ever since.
Earlier this week, the British prime minister asserted that the chemical weapon used was a Soviet-era nerve agent, Novichok, and – on that basis – the Russian state was implicated in the attempted murder of the former spy. Skripal had been exiled from Russia in 2010 after he was convicted of treason as a double agent for British intelligence MI6.
The new economic and diplomatic sanctions against Moscow, which were announced by May in the House of Commons on Wednesday, constitute a reckless escalation towards conflict between Britain, its NATO allies, and Russia.
Moscow has said it will not stand for British punitive measures and is vowing to take reciprocal actions.
Washington and European states have quickly followed Britain’s lead in ramping up hostile rhetoric towards Russia, and issuing statements of “solidarity.” Relations between Russia and NATO states had already plummeted to Cold War depths before the latest row.
The invitation for more chaos and conflict comes with the…