Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Russian Federation retaliates! Expels 23 British diplomats, shuts Council & Consulate

Britain says its priority is looking after staff in Russia Russian Federation retaliates! Expels 23 British diplomats, shuts Council & Consulate
Lora Ball | 17 March, 2018, 21:25

The two remain in critical condition.

Speaking at the Conservative spring forum on Saturday, Theresa May said Britain "would never tolerate a threat to the life" of its citizens, or others in the country, from the Russian government.

She tells British lawmakers that the military-grade nerve agent used was identified as belonging to a group of nerve agents known as Novichok and of a type developed by Russian Federation.

Russian Federation said today it would expel 23 British diplomats and close a British consulate following London's "provocative" measures over the poisoning of a double agent that has triggered a fierce diplomatic row.

A tent erected at the London Road cemetery in Salisbury, Wiltshire, over the memorial stone of Alexandr Skripal, the son of former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal who along with his daughter Yulia, was found slumped on a bench in Salisbury, critically ill by exposure to a nerve agent.

"It is possible that (Britain) will continue to respond; we are ready for this". France and Germany make similar statements the following day.

When asked by a Reuters reporter in the Kazakh capital Astana if Moscow would expel British diplomats, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov smiled and said: "We will, of course".

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

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Russian Federation retaliates: United Kingdom diplomats expelled
Russian Federation is expected to announce the expulsion of British diplomats and possibly other measures in a retaliatory move. The tensions threaten to overshadow Putin's expected re-election tomorrow for another six-year presidential term.

Top EU diplomats were expected to discuss next steps at a meeting Monday, with some calling for a boycott of the upcoming World Cup in Russian Federation.

Russia's foreign ministry slams London's "choice for confrontation", adding that retaliation will follow shortly.

A tweet by the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom said the 23 diplomats were expelled "to reach numerical parity" and that the British Council was closing "due to lack of legal grounds".

The 29-member North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance expresses solidarity with Britain over what it calls the first offensive use of a nerve agent on the military alliance's territory since World War II.

While Russia has vigorously denied involvement in the attack, Western powers see it as the latest sign of alleged Russian meddling overseas.

Britain's foreign minister, Boris Johnson also claimed that it is "highly likely" that Putin himself ordered the nerve-agent attack on the spy.

The European Union's 28 national leaders are to discuss the attack at a Brussels summit on March 22-23, with president Donald Tusk saying the bloc would send a "clear message".

Moscow will not forgive the way London acts in the situation with the poisoning of Russian former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko said.

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