Theresa May fist bumped a member of the public in Sailsbury on Thursday, as she visited the city at the centre of the nerve agent attack.
The prime minister greeted residents and the emergency services and repeated he conclusion that it was “very clear” that Russia was behind the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
“Salisbury is open for business, it’s business as usual here. It’s a great city, it’s a wonderful place to come visit – historic, beautiful, Salisbury is open,” she said.
Speaking in the City, May said she welcomed the support from the UK’s allies.
“We’ve been very clear in attributing this act to Russia, it is right that the UK Government reacts in a robust way to what has happened here in Salisbury,” she said.
“That is exactly what we’ve done – I’ve announced that we will be expelling 23 Russian diplomats who are undeclared intelligence officers, that will have an impact on their intelligence network.
She added: “What is important in the international arena, and we have taken this into Nato, into the United Nations, we’ll take it through into the European Union, is that allies are standing alongside us and saying this is part of a pattern of activity that we have seen from Russia in their interference, their disruption that they have perpetrated across a number of countries in Europe.
“This happened in the UK but it could have happened anywhere and we take a united stance against it.”
The leaders of France, Germany and the United States joined Britain in claiming the attack was an “assault on UK sovereignty” and a “clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law”.
In further diplomatic manoeuvring, Russia claimed it will soon expel British diplomats in retaliation to the UK’s decision to kick out 23 Russian envoys over the chemical attack.
Full UK response to Salisbury attack:
23 Russian diplomats expelled.
Creating new power to detain those suspected of Hostile State Activity at the UK border.
Increase checks on private flights, customs and freight.
Freeze Russian State assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents.
Suspend all planned high level bi-lateral contacts between the UK and Russia, including revoking the invitation to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to visit to the UK.
No attendance by Ministers - or indeed Members of the Royal Family - at this Summer’s World Cup in Russia.
A new £48m chemical defence centre based at Porton Down to face the “increasing” threat from Russia and North Korea.
Special UK troops to receive anthrax vaccine.