U.S., U.K., Germany and France issue joint statement condemning Russia

Macron, Merkel and Trump
Photo by John MacDougall / AFP via Getty Images

The leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France issued a rare joint statement Thursday unequivocally blaming Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and calling on the country to "live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold international peace and security."

Why it matters: Despite "no plausible alternative explanation," the Kremlin has still yet to accept culpability for what the four leaders are calling the "first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War." Yesterday, Theresa May announced a series of punitive measures that included the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, marking a huge escalation in international tensions.