Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Russia Expels 23 Diplomats After Salisbury Poisoning Attack

Russia Expels 23 Diplomats After Salisbury Poisoning Attack Russia Expels 23 Diplomats After Salisbury Poisoning Attack
Anna Jefferson | 17 March, 2018, 22:38

The British government said it was expecting the retaliatory expulsions from Russian Federation.

Moscow had failed to respond to a deadline set by the Prime Minister to explain how the nerve agent that poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia found its way into Britain.

Today Russia's Foreign Ministry said the 23 British staff would be expelled from Moscow within a week.

The Foreign Ministry said it would also order an end to all activities of the British Council, Britain's global organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and warned London that "if any further unfriendly actions are taken against Russia, the Russian side reserves the right to take other retaliatory measures".

The move came moments after Britain's ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, was summoned to the ministry.

Britain's foreign ministry said it had anticipated Russia's response and its priority now was looking after its staff in Russian Federation and assisting those that will return home.

Russian Federation will expel 23 British diplomats as tensions escalate during the spy poisoning stand-off.

President Donald Trump joined British Prime Minister Theresa May and the leaders of Germany and France on Thursday to issue a joint statement pinning the blame for the attack squarely on the Russian government.

Russian Federation denied any involvement in the attack on the father and daughter, who have been critical in hospital since they were found unconscious on March 4 on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury.

Speaking on Russia-24 television, Zakharova said Britain's angry reaction is connected to the war in Syria.

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"We will always do what is necessary to defend ourselves", the ambassador told reporters. Police said Glushkov died as a result of a "compression of the neck", suggesting he may have been strangled.

The chairman of the United Kingdom parliament's foreign affairs committee said that Russia's decision to expel the United Kingdom diplomats was "hardly surprising".

Putin, a former KGB spy who is poised to win a fourth term in an election on Sunday, has so far only said publicly that Britain should get to the bottom of what has happened.

The source of the nerve agent, which Britain says is Soviet-made novichok, is unclear, as is the way it was administered.

Meanwhile, U.K. police have also opened a murder investigation in the death of another Russian exile living in Britain.

Russian Federation has also said it is opening a probe into the murder of Glushkov, who was found dead at his London home.

Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain before being arrested in Moscow and later jailed in 2006.

London's Metropolitan police counter-terrorism command has said there is no suggestion that Glushkov's death is connected to the poisoning attack, but that they are investigating because "of associations Mr Glushkov is believed to have had".

Russia's Investigative Committee said it had launched its own criminal proceedings in connection with the "attempted murder of a Russian citizen, Yulia Skripal" in Salisbury and the "murder" of Glushkov in London.

Russian court officials at the time said he'd received at least $100,000 for his work for MI6, the British intelligence service.

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