Published: Sun, March 18, 2018

Russian Federation summons British ambassador as it readies to expel diplomats

Russian Federation summons British ambassador as it readies to expel diplomats

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

The move came moments after Britain's ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, was summoned to the ministry.

London concluded on Wednesday that it was "highly likely" Russian Federation was behind the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury on March 4. The tensions threaten to overshadow Putin's expected re-election tomorrow for another six-year presidential term. In response, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the accusation "shocking and unforgivable".

The joint statement agreed by Mrs May, US President Donald Trump, France's Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel followed speculation of Paris wobbling in its support for Britain's response to the March 4 attack, which has seen 23 Russian diplomats ordered out of the country. In an unusual joint move Wednesday, the US, France and Germany also pointed the finger at Russian Federation.

On March 14, 2018, U.K.'s Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the country is expelling 23 Russian diplomats as a retaliation.

Mr Yakovenko said that Britain had put its weight behind an "anti-Russian campaign" as it tried to establish a new place for itself within Western society after European Union withdrawal.

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

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.

Russia's envoy at the global chemical weapons watchdog says the nerve agent used could have come from U.S. or British stockpiles.

May has said the Skripals were attacked with Novichok, a Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2006 and four years later was given refuge in Britain after being exchanged for Russian spies. Mirzayanov said he revealed the existence of Novichok because he thought it was necessary to deprive Russian Federation of its "deadly secret". They remain in critical condition and a policeman who visited their home is in serious condition.

Earlier this week, Britain announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and suspension of high-level contacts over the poisoning.

It said 23 diplomatic staff at the United Kingdom embassy in Moscow would be "declared persona non-grata" and expelled within a week, Sputnik news agency reported.

Britain will stand up to any threats from Russia as relations deteriorate between the two countries, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday, after blaming Russia for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in southern England.

"Perhaps he also wants to go down in history with some loud statements".

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. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said in the Guardian that it's possible that "Russian mafia-like groups", rather than the Russian state, were responsible.

Like this: