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Military personnel wearing protective suits remove a police car and other vehicles from a public car park as they continue investigations into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal on March 11, 2018 in Salisbury, England.
“The Foreign Secretary has emphasized that if this was a direct act by the Russian state then it would not simply be a threat to the U.K., but a clear violation of the chemical weapons convention, a breach of international law and a threat to those who abide by the rules-based international order as a whole,” the office concluded.
How far that international support will go is yet to be tested, however.
Timothy Ash, senior sovereign strategist for emerging markets at Bluebay Asset Management, said in a note Tuesday that there was a sense in financial markets that “May will not do anything very substantive, and Russia is durable/able to resist.” However, he wondered if that was an “overly sanguine” view.
He was also surprised by the level of support for the U.K.
“I was struck by the strength of the comment from Tillerson, and support from NATO, Macron and various other European leaders … Not sure May has much downside from doing something substantive, given the relationship with Russia is already so poor, and she is struggling in her premiership and needs to show some steel.”