President Niinistö Calls Vladimir Putin Over UK Nerve Agent Attack

UK could ask Finland to kick out spies from the Russian Embassy in Helsinki.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö meets Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 1st, 2016 / Credit: Matti Porre, Office of the President of the Republic of Finland.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to talk about the recent nerve agent attack in England.

According to a statement from Niinistö’s office, the presidents had “a long discussion about international security and strategic stability”.

President Niinistö “expressed his deep concern about the nerve agent attack that took place in the United Kingdom” and said that Russia’s role in shedding light on the incident earlier this month would be “essential”.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, and a British policeman, were hospitalized after being exposed to a chemical toxin that British authorities say was developed by Russia.

Britain has accused Russia of either sanctioning the attack in the town of Salisbury in early March, or losing control of its chemical toxin stock.

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Today, British media reports that Prime Minister Theresa May could ask the 27 other EU countries to expel Russian spies stationed at the embassies in their countries.

Last week, President Niinistö said Finland was “ready to give all its support and assistance to Great Britain” over the incident.

Security policy analyst Charly Salonius-Pasternak from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs FIIA previously told News Now Finland that if the UK requested coordinated action from EU countries against Russia, it would be very difficult for Finland to say no.

“I think the Finnish government at present would only have one option, sign us up. I don’t think they have any option. How they present it publicly, what they do, is another matter” said Salonius-Pasternak.

Today’s telephone call between Niinistö and Putin was held at Finland’s request.