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EU offers UK 'unqualified solidarity' after poison attack

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EU offers UK 'unqualified solidarity' after poison attack

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EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have voiced strong verbal support for the UK, in the wake of the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter.

In a statement, they've said using a nerve agent on European soil would be a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"Several political points are clear in this statement," said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

"First the unity of the EU. I think that many were betting that we would have faced divisions and difficulties. It took us less than one hour to have a full round of interventions, expressing solidarity and agreeing on the text at 28. Second, the full solidarity and the full condemnation obviously of the attack."

In the statement released by the Foreign Affairs Council, the EU calls on Russia to urgently address the questions raised by the UK and to provide immediate and full disclosure of its Novichok programme.

"The solidarity is complete with our British colleagues but also the desire to ensure that we can now progress in the verification of the facts," commented Didier Reynders, Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister.

"But also the ability to ensure that Russia respects, I repeat, its commitments on the use and storage of chemical weapons."

Meanwhile, Russia has told Britain to back up its assertions over the poison attack or apologise.