Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was difficult to look beyond Russian state involvement in the alleged Novichok poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Asked whether he thought the Russian state poisoned Mr Navalny, the Cabinet minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme: “I think it’s very difficult to come up with a plausible alternative explanation based on Russia’s track record … of using it, Salisbury, based on the difficulty of getting hold of, let alone deploying Novichok as it’s such a dangerous substance.
“As I said, the case to answer is there for Russia and we need, I think, through the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), an investigation and Russia needs to co-operate fully.
“What’s clear also is that it can’t just say ‘this is a domestic issue, it is just our internal affairs’.
“The use of chemical weapons in this kind of context is pure gangsterism and Russia does have responsibility never to use it as a government, and second of all to make sure no-one else can use it within its territory.”