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Russia World Cup SHOCK: Theresa May could FORCE EU nations to BOYCOTT famed football event

Julian Reichelt, the editor-in-chief of Germany tabloid Bild, explained that he would be in favour of supporting a request by Mrs May if she decided to boycott the sporting event.

He told BBC Newsnight: “I think there are things beyond football, so in the case that for example Prime Minister Theresa May would ask for a British boycott of the World Cup and would ask NATO allies in Europe, in the west, to join that boycott, I would say that we as a newspaper, as a news organisation, would be in favour of supporting that request.”

If Germany’s best-selling tabloid opted to support a boycott, this could have a domino effect on other European Union nations.

The British Prime Minister’s request for Russia to explain itself following the sudden illness of Sergei Skripal and his daughter was ignored by the Kremlin.

Although a link between the military-grade nerve agent and Moscow has not been established, Mrs May stated that it was “highly likely” that Vladimir Putin was behind the attack.

In response to the aggressive stance taken by the Government, Russian ambassador Alexander Shulgin hit back by calling on the UK to “abandon its language of ultimatums”.

He stated: “Our British colleagues should recall that Russia and the United Kingdom are members of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which is one of the most successful and effective disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms.

“We call upon them to abandon the language of ultimatums and threats and return to the legal framework of the chemical convention, which makes it possible to resolve this kind of situation.

“The British authorities’ unfounded accusations of Russia’s alleged involvement in using poisonous agents on their territory are absolutely unacceptable.”

Before he was relieved of his duties as Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson appeared to show an enthusiasm to support the UK in any actions it took against the Kremlin.

He wrote in a statement: “The United States was in touch with our Allies in the United Kingdom ahead of today’s announcement, including in a call between Secretary Tillerson and Foreign Secretary Johnson this morning.

“We have full confidence in the UK’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that took place in Salisbury last week.

“This is never a justification of this type of attack – the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a sovereign nation – and we are outraged that Russia appears to have engaged in such behaviour.

“From Ukraine to Syria – and now the UK – Russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens.

“We agree that those responsible – both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it – must face appropriately serious consequences.

“We stand in solidarity with our Allies in the United Kingdom and will continue to coordinate closely our responses.”

The White House added to feelings of solidarity between the US and the UK by stating that it is “ready to provide any assistance” and detailed that Mr Trump agreed that Russia should answer for the numerous accusations peddled against it.

A White House spokesman said: “President Trump stated the United States stands in solidarity with its closest ally and is ready to provide any assistance the United Kingdom requests for its investigation.

“President Trump agreed with Prime Minister May that the Government of the Russian Federation must provide unambiguous answers regarding how this chemical weapon, developed in Russia, came to be used in the United Kingdom.

“The two leaders agreed on the need for consequences for those who use these heinous weapons in flagrant violation of international norms.”

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