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Salisbury Novichok poisoning suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov captured on surveillance cameras. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

A joint statement released by the leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Canada supports the conclusions by the British government that officers from the Russian military intelligence service were behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.

The big picture: U.K. authorities charged two suspected Russian GRU officers Wednesday with the attempted murder of Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, and claimed that their operation was almost certainly approved at a senior government level.

"We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, reiterate our outrage at the use of a chemical nerve agent, known as Novichok, in Salisbury on March 4.
We welcome the progress made in the investigation into the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and take note of the attempted murder charges brought yesterday against two suspects.
We commend the work of the UK police and all those involved in this investigation.
We also note the UK's analysis, independently verified by the OPCW, that the exact same chemical nerve agent was used in the poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charles Rowley as was used in the poisoning of the Skripals.
We urge Russia to provide full disclosure of its Novichok programme to the OPCW.
And we encourage those with information about the attack in Salisbury on March 4, as well as the further poisoning in Amesbury, to come forward to the UK authorities.
We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU, and that this operation was almost certainly approved at a senior government level.
We have already taken action together to disrupt the activities of the GRU through the largest ever collective expulsion of undeclared intelligence officers.
Yesterday's announcement further strengthens our intent to continue to disrupt together the hostile activities of foreign intelligence networks on our territories, uphold the prohibition of chemical weapons, protect our citizens and defend ourselves from all forms of malign state activity directed against us and our societies."

Go deeper: Trump's dueling Russia policies

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ubisoft workers demand company accountability in open letter

Photo: Frederic Brown / Getty Images

Close to 500 current and former employees of “Assassin’s Creed” publisher Ubisoft are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard with a letter that criticizes their company's handling of sexual misconduct.

Why it matters: Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard workers are framing the actions as part of a bigger movement meant to have lasting change in the industry and its culture.

Companies deploy tech to prevent retail crime

Customers in a Home Depot in Pleasanton, California, in February 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retailers have a new edge for fighting theft: They're using technology to disable stolen goods — from iPhones to Black & Decker drills — and render them useless.

Why it matters: Organized retail crime has a considerable affect on retailers every year, costing them an average of $719,000 per $1 billion dollars in sales, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
58 mins ago - Podcasts

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek does a podcast on the future of podcasts

Spotify on Wednesday reported significant ad revenue growth from its podcast business, as part of its quarterly earnings disclosure.

Take a listen: Company founder and CEO Daniel Ek appeared on the Axios Re:Cap podcast to discuss how the podcast business model is changing, why he's spending big on exclusive shows and his personal favorites in both podcasting and music.

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