Russian Federation to expel 23 British diplomats

Russian Federation to expel 23 British diplomats

The Russian Foreign Ministry also said in a statement that it is ordering the closure of the British Council, a government organization for cultural and scientific cooperation, and that it is ending an agreement to reopen the British consulate in St. Petersburg.

Nikki Haley, the US' ambassador to the United Nations, said: "The United States believes Russian Federation is responsible for an attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent".

Relations between Britain and Russian Federation have been strained since the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006, a killing which a British inquiry said was probably approved by Putin. It also said it would close the British Council in Russian Federation, which promotes cultural ties between the nations, and the British Consulate in St. Petersburg.

And the ministry had also warned Britain that "if further unfriendly actions are taken towards Russia, the Russian side retains the right to take other answering measures".

On March 4, 2018, Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia Skripal, 33, got critically ill after they were found unconscious on a bench in the Wiltshire city.

The Prime Minister expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom who she said were undeclared intelligence officers. They have been in a critical condition in hospital ever since.

Under pressure to act, the administration still deferred making a move targeting Russian government officials and oligarchs, those closest to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In addition, the British Council in Russian Federation will be closed.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov insisted the country was not to blame, and asked for access to samples of the poison.

Relations between London and Moscow have crashed to a post-Cold War low over the Salisbury attack, the first known offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War Two.

The Russian government will expel 23 United Kingdom diplomats.

"From the United States, Nato and the European Union".

She said that the British government "has anticipated a response of this kind" and will consider its next steps in coming days, "alongside our allies and partners".

Stent said that while it's unlikely the USA would levy new sanctions on Russian Federation over an incident on British soil, "you would still expect solidarity" from Washington.

Separately on Friday, police in London launched a murder investigation into the death this week of a Russian associate of late tycoon Boris Berezovsky, but said nothing at this stage suggested a link to the Skripal case.

"The use of nerve agents under any circumstances is unacceptable and its use by a state would constitute a serious violation of global law", said a spokesman for the United Nations chief.

"It sounds to me like they believe it was Russian Federation and I would certainly take that finding as fact", Trump said.

News agency Tass quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying: "It is a circus show in the British Parliament".

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