Britain says it will respond if a foreign country poisoned former spy

The British government has warned that it will respond to the last week poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury if it turns out that a foreign country was behind the act.

Finance minister Philip Hammond said Britain would respond “appropriately” if a foreign state is found to have been involved in the poisoning.

“This is a police investigation and it will be evidence-led and we must go where the evidence takes us,” Hammond said.

“So we have to allow the police investigation to run its course. But if there were to be an involvement of a foreign state evidenced by this investigation, then obviously that would be very serious indeed and the government would respond appropriately,” he said.

He also expressed doubt about UK’s future relationship with Russia if the incident was proved to be orchestrated by Moscow.

The 66-year-old former double agent Sergei Skripal, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, have been hospitalized since they were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in the city of Salisbury on Sunday.

Both Skripal and his daughter remain unconscious in a critical but stable condition, according to a Reuters report. Police Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey has also fallen ill because of contact with the substance while investigating the incident.

British police on Wednesday attributed the critical illness of the two to a nerve agent that British media claim only governments could have possessed.

British media and politicians previously speculated that Russia might be behind the incident. Moscow has strongly denied the allegations and expressed its readiness to help with the investigation.

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