14.03.2018 | ‘Gloves are off' as Theresa May plans to 'embarrass Vladimir Putin' for poisoned spy
Source - The Daily Express
Reports suggest the Prime Minister has tasked spy chiefs to gather intelligence on the Russian president and his oligarch cronies, hoping it will hold them to account.
Today, she is also expected to declare the use of Novichok as “an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom”.
Doing so will give the UK the legal justification for retaliation.
A senior security source told The Sun: “We’re going to play Putin at his own game.
“The gloves are off now.”
It is believed that intelligence experts at GCHQ (the Government Communications Headquarters) will utilise some of the world’s best hackers to penetrate hidden money trails.
Nonetheless, senior government sources have dismissed claims that Britain will embark on a cyber attack in response to Russia’s supposed “hit”.
Though it is unlikely to influence the dictator’s reelection, exposing secret wealth would embarrass Putin in front of Russian electors as he goes to the polls on Sunday.
As of today, the deadline has passed for Vladimir Putin to explain Moscow's presumed use of the chemical weapon in Salisbury.
May had given Putin until the end of Tuesday to confirm whether former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in a state attack.
An alternative - a question whether Russia had "lost control" of the nerve agent used in the attempted murder - had also been given.
The Russian Embassy in London said it would not respond to Mrs May's deadline until it had received samples of the chemical used in the attack.
Addition retaliation options could include sanctions, although the Russian Embassy in London still claimed plans were "being developed to strike Russia with cyber weapons.”
It warned that "any threat to take 'punitive' measures against Russia will meet with a response.
"The British side should be aware of that.
"Britain must comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention which stipulates joint investigation into the incident, for which Moscow is ready."