Russian Federation to retaliate 'soon' against United Kingdom with its own diplomat expulsions

Pauline Gross
March 19, 2018

A Downing Street spokesman said: "On Wednesday, the Prime Minister wrote to formally invite the OPCW to verify the Government's analysis of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury attack".

Russia had been given a deadline of midnight last night to respond to the charges, but the Russian embassy in London said: "Moscow will not respond to London's ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance to which the United Kingdom investigators are referring", adding that accusations of Kremlin involvement in the attack were "yet another crooked attempt by the United Kingdom authorities to discredit Russia".

Sergei and Yulia were found slumped unconscious on a bench outside a shopping mall in Salisbury, southwest of London on March 4.

Trump, who has often been reluctant to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin, said it "certainly looks like the Russians were behind it".

On Thursday, Lavrov had a different estimation of what's behind the friction between Russian Federation, the USA and Britain, citing what he called the "categorical reluctance of the United States and its western allies to agree that the 500-year-long period of Western domination in world affairs is coming to an end".

Tensions between London and Moscow over the attempted murder of a former Russian spy ratcheted up another level Thursday after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that a move to expel British diplomats from Russia would "absolutely" be going ahead.

Prime Minister Theresa May responded by expelling 23 Russian diplomats, severing high-level contacts with Moscow and vowing to take both open and covert actions against Russian dirty money and "hostile state activity".

On Wednesday, it also called for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the investigation.

May had given Moscow until midnight Tuesday to explain whether the attack was directed by Russian authorities or whether the government had lost control of the nerve agent.

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"The United States believes that Russian Federation is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent". "There is to be no Russophobia as a result of what is happening", he said.

In doing so, Tillerson went further than White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who earlier the same day had condemned the attack, but made no mention of Russian Federation.

Theresa May is expected to outline retaliatory measures against Russian Federation, after Moscow missed her midnight deadline to provide a "credible" response to allegations of its involvement in the Salisbury spy poisoning.

Britain has written to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, which monitors compliance with the global convention outlawing the use of such weapons, to obtain independent verification of the substance used.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who was also part of the initial response to the incident, is conscious and in a stable condition, NHS England has said.

In Yulia Skripal's suitcase: Ms Skripal returned from a visit to her native country the day before the attack, and intelligence chiefs believe an item of clothing, cosmetics or a gift may have been laced with the poison, the Telegraph reported.

Hence, she asked Vladimir Putin's administration to explain how a former spy was poisoned in Salisbury.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, writing in the Washington Post, said: "There is a reason for choosing Novichok".

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson sparked particular outrage in Moscow with his blunt comment on Thursday that "Russia should go away, it should shut up".

Other reports by GizPress

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