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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 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.

2 hours ago - World

China's ambassador warns Taiwan could spark "military conflict" with U.S.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's ambassador to the U.S. warned in a rare interview with NPR that if Taiwanese authorities "keep going down the road for independence," it would "most likely" lead to a "military conflict" between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Chinese officials rarely speak in such blunt terms, but veteran diplomat Qin Gang was unequivocal: "The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States."

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