FORMER US Ambassador John Bolton warned Russia could easily target other countries after the UK unless Vladimir Putin is made to pay a very “heavy price” for the alleged poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
The former US Ambassador to the UN told Sky News he thinks Russia would not hesitate to strike again unless Vladimir Putin is made to pay a “substantially greater price” than just diplomats being expelled from the UK.
From The Express
Mr Bolton added a “tit-for-tat response” would only encourage the Russian President to continue with his “outrageous” behaviour.
He said: “I think it’s a good first step to expel the 23 undeclared Russian intelligence agents but I think it’s got to be much more significant than that.
“I’m not suggesting we do what the Russians did, let me be clear, but I think the price has to be heavy.
“I think tit-for-tat responses just encourage the likes of Vladimir Putin.
“This is outrageous what he did, it’s outrageous. And he could do it in France, he could do it in Germany, he could do it in the United States.
“So when we say it’s unacceptable, my definition of the word unacceptable is we will not accept it.
“And the way to convince Putin of that is to make Russia pay a substantially greater price than just expelling diplomats.”
Theresa May confirmed the expulsion of 23 high-level diplomats during an address to the House of Commons.
She announced her decision in the wake of last week’s “barbaric” nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia.
Mrs May said: “Under the Vienna Convention, the United Kingdom will now expel 23 Russian diplomats who have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers.”They have just one week to leave.”
Donald Trump backed the Prime Minister and stated evidence on the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal with nerve agent Novichok pointed at Russia’s involvement.
Mr Trump told the press he would back Theresa May and Britain during this “sad situation.”
Asked if Russia could be involved in the incident, Mr Trump said: “It looks like. I spoke with the Prime Minister and we are in deep discussions.
“It’s a very sad situation. It certainly looks like the Russians are behind it.”
The condemnation is the first time the US has publicly accused Russia of attempting to hack into the American energy infrastructure, which US security officials have long warned may be vulnerable to debilitating cyber attacks from hostile adversaries.
The US Treasury Department also announced it had imposed sanctions on 19 Russian people and five groups, including Moscow’s intelligence services, for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and other malicious cyber attacks.