Russian Federation expels 23 British diplomats in escalating spy dispute

Nice young man seeks place in history but lacks upbringing’ Lavrov on Williamson ‘shut up’ remark
Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson
Author

19 March, 2018

British officials have said Russian Federation was behind Skripal's poisoning, an allegation Moscow rejects.

Russian Federation has said is open to cooperation with Britain, but has refused Britain's demands to explain how Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet military, was used against the Skripals.

"The onus remains on the Russian state to account for their actions and to comply with their worldwide obligations", the British Foreign Office said Saturday.

Celebrating his presidential victory, Putin addressed thousands of people who rallied outside the Kremlin to thank them for their support and promised new achievements.

He also added that Russian Federation does not have such weapons and is "ready to co=operate with Britain to investigate the spy's poisoning".

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador, Laurie Bristow, to a meeting on Saturday morning in central Moscow at its headquarters during which he was informed of the retaliatory measures.

The foreign office said that Britain's National Security Council will meet to discuss further actions against Russian Federation.

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Britain and Russian Federation have each expelled 23 diplomats, broken off high-level contacts and taken other punitive steps in the escalating tit-for-tat dispute, which clouded the run-up to Sunday's presidential election in Russian Federation.

Britain and Russian Federation have each expelled 23 diplomats over the attack, as relations between the two countries crash to a post-Cold War low.

Mr Putin referred to the attack on Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia as a "tragedy", but added if the British claim that they were poisoned by the Soviet-designed nerve agent were true, the victims would have died instantly. Both are in hospital in critical condition.

The team from The Hague will use global laboratories to carry out tests on the nerve agent. Critics say United Kingdom authorities have been slow to investigate the origins of the wealth invested in London's financial district and property market.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed a senior Australian official met with Russian Foreign Ministerial officials during a visit to Moscow, and highlighted the concerns of the highest level of the Australian Government.

During a speech in Parliament on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May laid out a plan of action to punish Moscow for poisoning Skripal and his daughter.


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