The U.K. and Russia could be headed for a political confrontation following the attempted murder — using a suspected nerve agent — of a former Russian spy and his daughter in a provincial English city.
U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the attempted murder was a "brazen and reckless attack" and an "outrageous crime." Speaking to fellow politicians on Thursday, Rudd said the government would "act without hesitation as the facts become clearer."
U.K. police confirmed on Wednesday evening that Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent who worked for the U.K.'s secret service, and his daughter Yulia, had been poisoned with a nerve agent.
The pair were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in Salisbury, a small city in the rural county of Wiltshire in England, on Sunday afternoon.
"Police are now in a position to confirm that their symptoms are a result of exposure to a nerve agent," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement Wednesday evening.
"Scientific tests by government experts have identified the specific nerve agent used which will help identify the source, but at this stage in a fast-paced ongoing investigation we will not comment further."