Russian Federation expels British diplomats

Russian Federation expels British diplomats

Britain and Russia have been trading public insults over the use of a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok to strike down former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Skripal, a former colonel in the GRU who betrayed dozens of Russian agents to British intelligence, and his daughter have been critically ill since March 4, when they were found unconscious on a bench.

President Vladimir 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. "This use of chemical weapons is a clear violation of the global law", he said.

Britain's ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

Russian Federation today denounced the United Kingdom " s refusal to allow cooperation to investigate the use of chemical weapons in that nation, as the British government makes groundless accusations against Moscow regarding that incident.

Prime Minister Theresa May said earlier Britain and its allies would consider their next move and that the national security council would meet early next week.

Bristow told reporters: "We will always do what is necessary to defend ourselves, our allies and our values against an attack of this sort, which is an attack not only on the United Kingdom, but upon the worldwide rules-based system on which all countries, including Russian Federation, depend for their safety and security", according to The Associated Press.

The British prime minister also demands in her letter that Moscow immediately provide "full and complete disclosure of the Novichok program" to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) monitoring group. In response, May expelled 23 Russian diplomats from Britain.

"That fact demonstrates the most telling difference between Britain and Putin: we have friends across the world and he does not".

Moscow has said the diplomats must leave Russian Federation within one week.

A British policeman was also poisoned when he went to help them is in a serious but stable condition.

The Trump administration announced sanctions Thursday on 19 Russians and five companies accused of meddling in the 2016 USA election.

Russia's Foreign Ministry also said it is closing the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg and the British Council in Russian Federation, a cultural institute, due to what it called "groundless accusations" by Britain.

"And organising a provocation around Sergei Skripal deflects attention", Mr Lavrov said.

According to United Kingdom officials, a Russian made, Cold War era nerve agent was used in the attempted assassination of a former spy in Salisbury, England earlier this month. The United States, France and Germany also condemned Russian Federation over the attack.

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