Russian Federation expels 23 British diplomats

Russian Federation expels 23 British diplomats

Russian Federation expels 23 British diplomats

The statement said the government could take further measures if Britain takes any more "unfriendly" moves toward Russian Federation.

The UK government says they were poisoned with a nerve agent of a type developed by Russian Federation called Novichok, and PM Theresa May has said she believes Moscow is "culpable".

Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain will consider next steps in the coming days alongside its allies. Both remain in critical condition.

London has blamed Moscow and on Friday, even directly implicated Putin in the attack, prompting the Kremlin's fury.

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

The Russian ministry also said it was ordering the British Council in Russia to cease operation and that a British consulate in St. Petersburg would not reopen.

"Due to the unregulated status of the British Council in the Russian Federation, its activities are terminated", the statement said.

The group said it was "profoundly disappointed" at the move.

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

Maria Zakharova said a large number of ex-Soviet scientists had gone to live in the West "taking with them the technologies that they were working on".

Skripal, a 66-year-old former colonel in Russia's military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia Skripal, were found dead slumped on a bench in a British shopping district March 4.

"We actually had evidence within the last 10 years that Russian Federation has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination but also has been creating and stockpiling Novichok", said Johnson, interviewed Sunday on BBC's "The Andrew Marr Show".

On March 16 British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it is "overwhelmingly likely" that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind the poisoning.

"We have no disagreement with the people of Russian Federation and we continue to believe it is not in our national interest to break off all dialogue between our countries".

Russian Federation was slow to respond to May's decision, spending Thursday and Friday promising a swift and strong response.

Following the Salisbury incident, the British government has also pledged to re-examine 14 deaths on United Kingdom soil following a report that they could have been carried out by Moscow or the Russian mafia. "This was the result of measures taken by us, in particular, to dismantle the Russian espionage network operating in Britain, in connection with the attempted murder of two people here in Britain" the statement said.

New tensions have also surfaced over the death Monday of a London-based Russian businessman, Nikolai Glushkov.

Putin dismissed the British accusations, emphasizing that an attack on Skripal would make no sense.

"Addressing the Commons last week, Mrs May said the decision to point the finger at Moscow was also based on "Russia's record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations and our assessment that Russian Federation views some defectors as legitimate targets for assassinations".

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