March 10 (UPI) -- British Defense Minister Tobias Ellwood said Saturday the government would bring the Sergei Skripal poisoning case up for discussion with its NATO allies.
As chemical warfare experts are now investigating the poisoning of Skripal, 66, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, as a suspected nerve toxin attack, the government held a cabinet office committee meeting on Saturday afternoon with Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
Ellwood said the government would bring the case up to the NATO level for discussion.: ". . . We must have a robust response and it's something that we'll be discussing with our Nato partners," he said."Some big questions arise, as to how do you stand up to a clandestine and sinister attack deliberately done to play havoc in our society?"
Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, became ill and were spotted slumped on a bench last Sunday in Salisbury, England after being exposed to an unknown substance. They are still in the hospital in critical condition. Detective Sgt. Nick Bailey, who responded to the scene, remains in serious condition. Sources told the Guardian that he also visited Skripal's home and may have been contaminated there.
The Independent reported that after the meeting, Rudd revealed that over 250 counter-terrorism officers are involved in the investigations. Investigators have identified over 240 witnesses investigators and more than 200 pieces of evidence.
British Security Minister Ben Wallace mentioned "powerful allies" and added the government was prepared to respond with "the full force of the United Kingdom's resources," when the investigation is complete.