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Nikki Haley warns of Russian chemical attack in US

Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, voting at the Security Council September 11, 2017. (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/TNS)

Nikki Haley is warning that Russia’s apparent use of a chemical weapon in the United Kingdom could open the door to similar attacks in the United States.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations told a meeting of the U.N.’s Security Council on Thursday that the United States agrees with British officials that a Russian defector and his daughter likely were poisoned by Russian agents in Salisbury, England, last week.

It was the strongest accusation yet from a U.S. official that Moscow was responsible for the use of “a military-grade nerve agent” — and a warning that other countries face the risk of similar actions on their own soil.

“If we don’t take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used,” Haley said. “They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council.”

Great Britain has pointed the finger at Russia for the attack that left Sergei Skirpal, a former Russian double agent now living in England, and his daughter, Yulia, hospitalized. British officials say they were poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent. In response, the United Kingdom has said it will expel 23 Russian diplomats.

Russia denies any involvement in the incident and has called the accusations “fairy tales.” On Thursday, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said blame for the attack lies elsewhere.

“The most probable source origin (of) this chemical are the countries which have since the end of the ’90s been carrying … out intensive research on these kinds of weapons, including the U.K.,” Nebenzia said.

Earlier this week, outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the nerve agent attack “a really egregious act” that appears to have “clearly” come from Russia.

President Donald Trump has not yet blamed the attack on the Kremlin, saying. “as soon as we get the facts straight,” the United States would “condemn Russia or whoever it may be.”

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© 2018 The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.