Nato: Salisbury spy attack was "clear breach of international norms and agreements"

Catherine Neilan
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A nerve agent was released on the streets of Salisbury targeting a former Russian spy (Source: Getty)

Nato has said the use of nerve agent Novichok in the Salisbury attack on former spy Sergei Skripal was a "clear breach of international norms and agreements".

The alliance expressed "deep concern" about the attack and pledged solidarity with the UK. It will support on the ongoing investigation, and has backed Downing Street's calls for Russia to explain the circumstances behind the nerve agent being used – the first "offensive use" of a nerve agent since Nato was formed.

Russia must "provid[e] full and complete disclosure of the Novichok programme to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," Nato said this afternoon. "Allies agreed that the attack was a clear breach of international norms and agreements."

Nato highlighted that states signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention "commit not to develop, produce or otherwise acquire, stockpile or retain chemical weapons, nor to transfer, directly or indirectly, chemical weapons to anyone".

States "also undertake not to engage in any military preparations to use chemical weapons, nor to commit to assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in prohibited activity".

The statement added: "Nato has repeatedly condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and called on those responsible to be held to account. Nato regards any use of chemical weapons as a threat to international peace and security."

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