Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Czech PM Babis says will "probably" expel Russian spies

Czech PM Babis says will Czech PM Babis says will "probably" expel Russian spies
Patty Aguilar | 24 March, 2018, 11:19

However, a second source said that the official analysis points to the clips being part of a Russia-backed campaign of disinformation to undermine the United Kingdom government and spread distrust and confusion around Britain's assertion that Russian Federation was behind the attack.

"We still do not see any facts", state news agency RIA Novosti quoted him as saying on a visit to Hanoi.

Lithuania's president Dalia Grybauskaite disclosed the she was considering following Britain's example by expelling Russian spies from her country.

Russia's top diplomat insisted that Britain has so far failed to provide any firm evidence that would link Moscow to the March 4 attack.

Following a summit in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the response to the Salisbury nerve agent attack, the European Council of EU leaders agreed "there was no plausible alternative explanation", the BBC reported.

She had been striving at a summit in Brussels to persuade her European Union colleagues to unite in condemning Moscow over the attack on Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer convicted of spying for Britain, and his daughter, Yulia.

"We are determined to react together, with the language we used here, but also possibly through additional measures", Merkel said at the end of the first day of the summit.

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One official suggested the documents preparing for the call may have been classified, making unauthorized disclosure a crime. The White House on Wednesday said: "If this story is accurate, that means someone leaked the president's briefing papers".

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The Russian Foreign Ministry acccused the bloc of spurning cooperation with Moscow and joining "another anti-Russian campaign deployed by London and its allies overseas with an obvious goal: to put another obstacle on the path to the normalisation of the situation on the European continent".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, the EU's power brokers, raised the prospect of further measures late on Thursday after expressing solidarity with Britain just days after the attack. British authorities say the pair have been critically ill since the attack by a Soviet-designed, military-grade nerve agent called Novichok.

"Yes, we will probably move in this direction", Babis said, adding he will consult with cabinet members on Monday.

The poisoning has heightened worries across Europe about Russian meddling - from repeated cyber attacks to what the European Union has called an "orchestrated strategy" of disinformation aimed at destabilising the bloc.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar said Dublin would be conducting a "security assessment", with a decision early next week on possible "individual action relating to Russian diplomats in Ireland".

He said he would hold consultations with members of his government about the next steps.

She managed to overcome resistance from countries like Greece and Italy who were reluctant to put their close Kremlin ties in jeopardy to persuade them to back Britain's conclusion that Moscow was to blame.

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