Russian Federation announces retaliatory measures against Britain over spy attack row

Russian Federation announces retaliatory measures against Britain over spy attack row

Russian Federation announces retaliatory measures against Britain over spy attack row

The Foreign Ministry further said that there was a disparity in the number of consulates of the two countries and Russian Federation withdrew permission to open the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg.

Britain's ambassador to Russia says the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain was an attack on global values.

On Wednesday, May called the attack a "barbaric act" and announced retaliatory measures including: the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats she called "undeclared intelligence officers"; uninviting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to visit the United Kingdom; freezing certain Russian government assets in the United Kingdom; and suspending "high-level" diplomatic contacts.

It said this was a response to Britain's "provocative actions" and "baseless accusations over the Salisbury incident".

Johnson on Friday had said it was "overwhelmingly likely" that it was Putin's decision "to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K".

The spy dispute has sent U.K. -Russia relations to Cold War-levels of tension.

When asked by Sky News whether Russia had destroyed all its chemical weapons in line with the internationally recognised Chemical Weapons Convention, Russian diplomat, Alexander Shulgin said: "Absolutely".

Russian Federation has said is open to cooperation with Britain, but has refused Britain's demands to explain how Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet military, was used against the Skripals.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement and offered shifting explanations of what may have happened, including that the British are just making it up.

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The Swedish and Czech foreign ministers and the Slovak foreign ministry all separately rejected the Russian claim.

Writing in the Sun on Sunday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described the closures as "futile" and said they would "only punish ordinary Russians" by depriving them of opportunities to learn English and apply for visas to visit Britain.

"We will never tolerate a threat to the life of British citizens and others on British soil from the Russian government", she said, prompting applause.

British lawmakers and analysts are urging British Prime Minister Theresa May not to hesitate to seize assets invested in Britain of Russian plutocrats tied to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Ambassador Laurie Bristow spoke Saturday after being called to the Russian Foreign Ministry to be informed that Russia will expel 23 diplomats, a tit-for-tat retaliation to Britain's announcement this week that 23 Russians would be expelled.

Russian Federation has denied the U.K.'s allegations, accusing Britain of using the incident in a campaign to smear Moscow.

But she said Britain had "no disagreement with the Russian people".

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.

Britain's foreign ministry said it had anticipated Russia's response and its priority now was looking after its staff in Russian Federation and helping those who will return home.

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