Vladimir Putin’s regime is suspected of carrying out a nerve agent attack with Novichok in an attempted assassination of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
While the Russians survived , the deadly aftermath from the incident killed Brit mum Dawn Sturgess and left her boyfriend Charlie Rowley in a critical condition.
Kremlin officials have denied any involvement in the attack, which Royal Navy hero Admiral Lord West has branded “almost an act of war”.
The former First Sea Lord – once Britain’s most senior naval officer – said the incident was “extraordinary” and “outrageous”.
It also emerged today Prime Minister Theresa May didn’t pressure US President Donald Trump into raising the Novichok incident with Putin.
Dawn Sturgess came into contact with the same poison used in the Skripal assassination attempt
Admiral Lord West told Daily Star Online: “I think it is extraordinary. It is almost an act of war – almost.
“In the days when we were an imperial power, we would have had the best negotiators in Europe – a squadron of British battleships.
“They would go there and knock seven bells of s*** out of them.”
Britain and Russia have been at loggerheads since the attack on the Skripals, which also poisoned policeman Nick Bailey.
Mr Rowley’s brother Matthew claims the Amesbury couple came into contact with Novichok from a perfume bottle.
The diplomatic crisis reared its head again after Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley were taken ill at the end of June – just eight miles from the Skripal scene in Salisbury.
Britain has been firmly pointing the finger at Russia once again and it is believed to be Novichok leftover from the attempted murder of the MI6 double agent.
Health warnings remain in place for people in the area not to pick-up in unidentified items off the floor in the Wiltshire towns.
Donald Trump meets Vladimir Putin
Admiral West said: “[Using force] is not the way of the world now, and these things are done in such a way that it is not quite as clear cut – they creep up on you.
“It is outrageous, and its quite clear it came from Russia – absolutely clear.
“What will be interested is if [Mr Rowley] can point out where he got it from and when he can look through the cameras and get some more data.”
Mr Rowley is conscious and talking after spending weeks fighting for his life following the exposure to Novichok.
Downing Street today confirmed Mrs May did not pressure Trump into raising the Novichok issue with Putin in Helsinki.
Ms Sturgess’s son Ewan has urged the Government to seek justice, and called for the US President and PM to raise the issue with Putin.
Mrs May’s spokesman said Trump had already made clear he shared Britain’s view the Novichok came from Russia.
He also confirmed the PM and US President had discussed poisoning during the meeting at Chequers House on Friday.
Admiral Lord West said he doubted whether Trump would raise the issue with Putin, saying it “wouldn’t really open things up the way he wants it to”.
He told Daily Star Online: “The Americans have come down firmly on our side that it was the Russians who had done it.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Putin was quite surprised about the international reaction and the amount of countries who came down on our side.
“One does wonder what on Earth he is up to. We have had the World Cup and all these other things and we have to wonder why [Putin] is doing this – what's up with him for God’s sake?”
Asked whether Mrs May had urged Mr Trump to raise the Salisbury attack with Mr Putin, the PM's spokesman said: "The US position has been set out very clearly by the president with relation to the Skripals.
"I don't know what he will be discussing today, but he and the Prime Minister both have an agreed position on this.
"They discussed the Skripal case and the ongoing situation in Salisbury, but she didn't direct the president to do anything in particular because the position the US has set out on this is very, very clear and the president couldn't have been clearer in public about who he believes is responsible and the action that they have taken."
Russia categorically deny the Novichok attack, and even suggested Britain might have staged the Amesbury incident to distract from the World Cup.
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