New Zealand government condemns nerve agent attack on ex-Russian spy in England as an 'affront on global rules and norms'

The New Zealand government has condemned the suspected Russian nerve agent attack in England that's left former Russian spy Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia critically ill.

In a statement today Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says: "We share and support the concerns expressed by other nations about such use of chemical weapons".

Helen Smith, Britain's Deputy High Commissioner to New Zealand, addressed the Kiwi media today. Source: 1 NEWS

"The use of chemical weapons as a tool of war, or for murder or assassination is totally repugnant, and this incident is an affront to global rules and norms. As New Zealand has stated on many occasions, we are deeply disturbed at any use of chemical substances banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention".

Mr Peters went on to say New Zealand will express its views this week at a Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons Executive Council meeting in The Hague, Netherlands.

His comments come after the British Government asked New Zealand to back them in any action it takes against Russia, who it alleges is behind the nerve agent attack.

Helen Smith, Britain's Deputy High Commissioner to New Zealand, addressed media on the issue in Wellington this afternoon.

"If we have not received a clear and coherent response from the Russians by the end of Tuesday UK time we will take this as a signal that this was a deliberate act by the Russian state against the UK and we will consider a full range of measures which might include things like sanctions and expelling diplomats. 

Britain is turning to its allies for support. Source: 1 NEWS

"But those will be discussed further by the British Government and British Parliament before any decisions are made," Ms Smith said.

She says the British Government is talking to governments around the world to get their support against a "pattern of Russian aggression".

"We'd certainly be looking not just at a bilateral response but also to what we can do with international partners and through international institutions."

Russia has been issued an ultimatum to respond to the allegations by tomorrow morning or face reprisals from the British Government.