March 6, 2018 / 1:26 PM / 16 days ago

Britain may look at new Russia sanctions if it is involved in ex-spy's illness

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain may have to look at new sanctions on Russia if suspicions that it is involved in the illness of a former Russian agent in Salisbury are well-founded, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

Police officers stand guard beside a cordoned-off area, after former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, who was convicted in 2006 of spying for Britain, became critically ill after exposure to an unidentified substance, in Salisbury, southern England, March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Police were racing to identify the substance suspected of striking down a former Russian double agent convicted of treason in Moscow for betraying dozens of spies to British intelligence.

“I am not now pointing fingers ... I say to governments around the world that no attempt to take innocent life on UK soil will go either unsanctioned or unpunished,” Johnson told parliament.

“If the suspicions (about Salisbury) prove to be well-founded, then it may very well be that we are forced to look again at our sanctions regime and other measures that we may seek to put in place.”

Reporting by Andy Bruce; writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison

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