What will it take to tame Russia?

A picture showing British police guarding a home in Salisbury
Salisbury, March 29, 2018: Police support unit officers stand outside the Salisbury home of the victims of a nerve agent attack (source: dpa)
  • Theresa May succeeded in building international support for her call to expel Russian diplomats
  • The two areas of Moscow’s real vulnerability are Russian gas and Russian money
  • The question of whether Ms. May is ready to confront Wall Street and the City of London

The attempted murder of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the peaceful British town of Salisbury has sent relations between Russia and the West to a new low. The story reads like a Cold War spy novel, with the crucial distinction that there is little case of whodunit. The scenario of the Kremlin’s culpability is, in the words of United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, “highly likely” to be true.

The key to understanding what has transpired lies in the use of Novichok, a nerve agent once developed in a Soviet weapons laboratory. The use of this toxic substance against the Skripals served as a calling card, leaving a strong indication of which state actor was behind the deed.

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