Prime Minister backs United Kingdom over Russia nerve-agent allegations

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the recent chemical weapon attack in the United Kingdom is "a serious affront to accepted global norms".

Ms Ardern said New Zealand supports a joint statement made by the UK, US, Germany and France that condemns the attack and the response from Russia.

A military-grade nerve agent was used to attack former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on March 4, leaving them and a police officer seriously injured.

"Outrage at the brazen and callous use of chemical weapons in a UK town is fully justified," Ms Ardern said in a statement on Friday evening.

"This incident is a serious affront to accepted global rules and norms. The use of chemical weapons in any circumstances is totally repugnant, and New Zealand is deeply disturbed at any use of chemical substances banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"New Zealand fully supports the sovereign right of the UK to take the action it considers appropriate in response to this violation of international law on its territory. We stand in solidarity with the UK alongside and its other partners."

Ms Ardern said Russia's response to the attack has been "cynical, sarcastic and inadequate".

"There is  no plausible alternative explanation hitherto that this came from anywhere other than Russia and no doubt whatsoever that Russia has serious questions to answer."

According to the joint statement, the attack is the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.

The signatories of the statement say there is no plausible alternative explanation to Russia being responsible for the attack and it calls on Russia to address all of the UK government's questions in relation to the attack.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters spoke to Newshub Nation last week about plans to from a free trade deal with Russia.

New Zealand's stance on the UK attack might cast doubt on that.

Mr Peters will attend an Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Executive Council meeting in The Hague this week and will express the Government's view on the attack.

"We expect that any other OPCW member with information about this incident would support a full and thorough investigation, so that the perpetrators are held to account," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

"How this military-grade nerve agent was transported from Russia and released abroad is the key issue here, and warrants urgent international investigation."