United Kingdom angered Russian Federation blaming Putin for poisoning spy

19 March, 2018, 17:58 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Reuters

"In case of further unfriendly actions against Russia, the Russian side reserves the right to take further retaliatory measures - this is what the British Ambassador was told on Saturday", he said.

Her comments followed a statement by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday during which May said London would kick out the Russian diplomats in the biggest such expulsion since the Cold War.

Former Russian-UK double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were discovered slumped on a bench in Salisbury in early March.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Russian Federation should "go away and shut up" while Cabinet colleague Boris Johnson said it was "overwhelmingly likely" that Mr Putin directed the use of the nerve agent on Britain's streets.

The crisis erupted after the Skripals were exposed to a Soviet-designed military grade nerve agent, leaving them in critical condition.

But he added: "Measures to tackle the oligarchs and their loot would have a far greater impact on Russia's elite than limited tit-for-tat expulsions".

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Saturday that 23 British diplomats are "persona non grata" and must leave the country within a week. "There are other elements to Britain's reaction and you need to give a "mirror" response to that as well".

It also said it would close the British Council in Russian Federation, which promotes cultural ties between the nations, and the British Consulate in St Petersburg.

And it said it had halted the activities of the British Council, Britain's global organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

Former Royal Navy chief of staff Lord West said the world needs to "get a grip and make some sensible moves".

They also offered to cooperate with British authorities.

In a similar move, Russia closed the British Council's regional offices in 2008 after relations nosedived over the poisoning of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday that the allegations were unacceptable and that British diplomats would be expelled, Russia's RIA news agency reported.

British authorities said they were poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed in Russian Federation.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded saying Johnson's claims violated all rules of diplomatic protocol.

Western leaders have strongly backed Britain's response.

Mr Johnson will travel to Brussels to brief foreign ministers from across the European Union at a meeting on Monday on the attempted assassinations before holding talks North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.

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.

London's Metropolitan Police later announced their own murder investigation, saying Glushkov had suffered compression of the neck.

"I see in this (result) the confidence and hope of our people", Putin said in an address to crowds of supporters on a square next to the Kremlin after exit polls put him on track for a resounding victory.

Berezovsky was found dead in March 2013 with a scarf tied around his neck in the bathroom of a luxury mansion west of London.

Some 145,000 observers are monitoring the voting in the world's largest country, including 1,500 foreigners and representatives from opposition leader Alexei Navalny's political movement.

What began as two people suddenly taken ill on a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago has turned into an global diplomatic crisis pitting Britain and the western world against Vladimir Putin's Russian Federation.

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