Podcast: Russia, the UK, and the Nerve Agent Attack in Salisbury

Decontamination personnel at work in Salisbury, England, where Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were attacked with a rare nerve agent

I spoke with BBC Radio Foyle on Tuesday about the latest developments around the UK, Russia, and the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England — leaving the two critically ill and a police officer in serious condition and affecting hundreds of people — on March 4.

The discussion considers the next steps in the testing for the Novichok nerve agent, developed in the Soviet Union from the late 1970s and possibly held by Russia in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the UK to assess the finding of British agencies.

There’s a quick response to “Will President Vladimir Putin change his position?” (No.) Then it is the question — if Russia is found culpable — of what the UK will do in its next steps over political and economic measures, after the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and intelligence officers. The key? Whether allies will join the British in multilateral action.

Listen to Discussion

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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