Russian Federation summons British ambassador as it readies to expel diplomats

Russian Federation summons British ambassador as it readies to expel diplomats

Russian Federation summons British ambassador as it readies to expel diplomats

British Prime Minister Theresa May this week ordered 23 Russian diplomats expelled as part of measures to punish Russia over the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury.

Britain is expelling 23 Russian diplomats and taking other steps against Russian interests as the two nations' relations plummet. Moscow strongly denies the allegation and called Johnson's remarks "shocking" and "inexcusable".

The British government has confirmed the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats from Russian Federation, and says the U.K. National Security Council will meet early next week to consider the next steps in its dispute with Moscow over the poisoning of a former spy.

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

He told the BBC: "My personal point of view (is) that Theresa May and her colleagues they have created a fake story because they need an explanation to British people and British business why they are going to perform some anti-British steps in favour of United States policy against Russian Federation".

"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 global rules-based system on which all countries, including Russian Federation, depend for their safety and security", Bristow told reporters.

The diplomats are due to leave London on March 20, RIA news agency quoted Russia's ambassador to Britain as saying.

Russia's envoy at the global chemical weapons watchdog said Britain and the US both had access to Novichok and that the nerve agent used to attack the Skripals could have come from either of their stockpiles. The mounting tensions come as Russians prepare to hand President Vladimir Putin a new term in an election Sunday. It is therefore entirely reasonable that Britain asked Russian Federation to clarify if it was behind the attack or had somehow lost control over the nerve agent, two possible explanations for the Salisbury incident.

De Bretton-Gordon said it was possible that the Novichok arrived in Salisbury in Yulia Skripal's suitcase, but said much could go wrong in such a scenario.

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May has said the Russian state is responsible for the attack on Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

British police said yesterday that he died from compression to the neck and opened a murder investigation.

Russian Federation denies being the source of the poison, suggesting it could have been another country, and has demanded that Britain share samples collected by investigators. The 67-year-old had been one of Russia's most powerful figures in the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Writing in the Guardian, he condemned the "horrific" incident but insisted: "A connection to Russian mafia-like groups that have been allowed to gain a toehold in Britain can not be excluded".

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commander of the British Army's chemical and biological weapons regiment, called that Russian claim "complete hogwash". He also cast doubt on the possibilities that the nerve agent was sent through the mail or was placed in luggage that Skripal's daughter brought with her from Russian Federation to Britain.

Vil Mirzayanov, who now lives in New Jersey, is quoted in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper as saying that he revealed the existence of Novichok because he thought it was necessary to deprive Russian Federation of its "deadly secret".

Those countries, not Russian Federation, had been intensively testing the substance since the end of the 1990s, Zakharova said.

The Russian mafia: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was among those voicing the possibility that rogue elements within the Russian state might be behind the assassination attempt, warning people not to become "overwhelmed by emotion and hasty judgement".

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