Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Britain boots 23 Russian diplomats over spy poisoning

Strong messages Vladimir Putin US attack on Syria to result in serious consequences
Russell Knight | 17 March, 2018, 12:51

"If the Russian government stopped using chemical weapons to assassinate its enemies; and if the Russian government stopped helping its Syrian ally to use chemical weapons to kill Syrian children; and if Russia cooperated with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by turning over all information related to this nerve agent, we would stop talking about them", she said.

"None of this helps the Russian market sentiment", said Alexander Orekhov, head of Russian equities trading at Renaissance Capital in Moscow.

But after Tuesday's deadline passed, the United Kingdom announced the expulsions.

"There is no mention about, for example, providing Russian Federation with samples of the substance that was found at the crime scene", she said.

He noted that in 2017, the Syrian government agreed to have United Nations experts visit Shayrat airbase to investigate the claims of using sarin gas in the Khan Sheikhoun incident, and the USA side of this but it said that they don't need the experts anymore, and went ahead and attacked the airbase. "We wanted a better relationship, and it is tragic that President Putin has chosen to act in this way".

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says a mushrooming diplomatic scandal over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain won't disrupt Russia's presidential election.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow that Russian Federation "won't accept absolutely unfounded accusations against it, which are not substantiated by any evidence, and won't accept the language of ultimatum".

Russia is set to expel British diplomats in retaliation for Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to kick out 23 Russians as relations with London crash to a post-Cold War low due to an attack with military-grade nerve agent on English soil.

Janjua to hold talks in Kabul today
It was the fourth suicide attack in Kabul in three weeks and comes days after the top USA general in Afghanistan said protecting the city was "our main effort".

Tillerson leaves behind a hollowed out State Department
Michael Hayden, the former director of the CIA and National Security Agency, was more blunt in his assessment. While the change at the Department of State was abrupt, it was a necessary realignment at a very good time .

United Nations launches $1bn appeal to care for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh
Suu Kyi is expected in Sydney this weekend for the Asean-Australia special summit, at the invitation of the Australian government. Among the banners was one portraying Aung San Suu Kyi with a Adolf Hitler moustache, calling on her to "Return the Nobel Prize".

The American leadership's tone on the issue went through an abrupt change following a telephone conversation Tuesday night between Trump and the British prime minister, with the White House issuing a statement afterwards expressing solidarity with the U.K. According to a readout on the conversation from May's office, "President Trump said the US was with the U.K. all the way", as NPR reported.

Scotland Yard said a man in his 60s was found at a home in Clarence Avenue, New Malden, south-west London, on Monday and that the cause of his death is unexplained - but there was "no evidence to suggest a link to the incident in Salisbury". "It is not clear to me that London's response will hit the Kremlin where it hurts".

The White House has said Trump agrees with May on "the need for consequences" following the attack, but has not specified whether the USA planned any punishment of its own.

The White House said it shared Britain's assessment that Russia was responsible and supported the decision to expel Russian diplomats. Britain announced sanctions on Wednesday, canceling planned high-level meetings and a royal visit to Russia for this summer's World Cup, in addition to banning Russians who were in the U.K.as diplomats.

He admitted London's expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats over the poisoning amounted to a 40 percent staff cut and would seriously affect the work of his embassy.

In a demonstration of the West's unity, Mrs May and Mr Trump, along with Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron, issued a joint statement endorsing the Prime Minister's conclusion that it was "highly likely" Russian Federation was behind the attack on the Skripals.

What have the Russians actually said?

"I don't think the Brits want to start a war. If it's just England withdrawing it wouldn't be effective".

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