United Kingdom braced for Russian response after diplomatic expulsions

18 March, 2018, 01:30 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow leaves the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow Russia

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday Moscow had already decided on retaliatory measures, which she said Britain would be informed of in the near future.

Official London called the incident "indiscriminative and irresponsible attack on the United Kingdom, after which innocent civilians ran the risk", Russian Foreign Ministry considers British accusations a provocation, which disrupts dialogue with Great Britain.

She then went in front of parliament to announce the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats who have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers (the single biggest expulsion in over 30 years), and said that the United Kingdom must look at new sanctions and new laws to combat Russian spying.

As part of a series of measures against Russia, Mrs May has also confirmed there will be no attendance by Government ministers or members of the Royal Family at this summer's World Cup.

Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found slumped unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in the genteel southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

Britain has said the toxin, which also poisoned a British police officer who attended the scene, was Novichok, a lethal nerve agent first developed by the Soviet military. There is no alternative conclusion, other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr. Skripal and his daughter, and for threatening the lives of other British citizens in Salisbury, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

A view shows the building of All-Russian State Library for Foreign Literature, named after Margarita Rudomino, which houses the British Council in Moscow, Russia March 17, 2018. British police said they were treating Glushkov's death as unexplained, but did not think it was linked to the attack on the Skripals.


Speaking at an event in Moscow on Thursday night, Vladimir Putin said Russian Federation was a "proud" nation "and will be in the future, too".

Following the 2006 poisoning of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko in London, Mrs May has pointed the finger at President Vladimir Putin.

Haley said the Russians have recently complained about being criticized too much, suggesting the criticism would cease if the Russians didn't use chemical weapons to assassinate their enemies or gave aid to Assad in his war against his own people.

May said Russia's use of a chemical weapon was "an affront to the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons".

"Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin, and with his decision - and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision - to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the United Kingdom".

British Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, sparked particular outrage in Moscow with his blunt comment on Thursday that "Russia should go away, it should shut up". Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has denounced the British accusations as "absolutely rude, unsubstantiated and baseless". May said in a statement to Parliament. "Maybe he lacks education, I don't know".

Meanwhile the Kremlin continued to consider how to respond to Mrs May after the largest expulsion of diplomats since the Cold War was announced on Wednesday.

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