Russian Federation will 'of course' expel British diplomats, says Lavrov

19 March, 2018, 05:50 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • May announced a number of moves including the expulsion of 23 diplomats and the suspension of high-level contacts with RussiaMore

After several days of investigation, British authorities determined that they were poisoned with a nerve agent known as Novichok, which is believed to be unique to Russian Federation.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday, March 17, that "23 diplomatic personnel from the British Embassy in Moscow have been declared persona non grata" and have one week to leave.

As the global scandal gathers pace, Skripal and his daughter remain in critical condition after exposure to the Soviet-designed chemical Novichok on March 4 in the southwestern English city of Salisbury.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow that Russian Federation "won't accept absolutely unfounded accusations against it, which are not substantiated by any evidence, and won't accept the language of ultimatum".

But Johnson went a step further and blamed Putin directly today.

She said Britain will suspend high-level bilateral contact with Russia and revoke an invitation to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to visit the UK.

"In his campaign rally in Crimea today, President Putin reiterated Russia's false claims to Ukrainian territory in another open admission that the Russian government disdains the worldwide order and disrespects the territorial integrity of sovereign nations", Nauert said.

"Our ambassador in Moscow was just informed by the Russian government about the expulsion of 23 diplomats, the closure of the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg and the closure of the British Council in Moscow".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking to CNN, slammed that remark.




Britain, the United States, Germany and France have jointly called on Russia to explain the attack, while US President Donald Trump has said it looks as if the Russians were behind it.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: "We are learning more about Sergei and Yulia's movements but we need to be clearer around their exact movements on the morning of the incident". Russian Federation has demanded that Britain share samples collected by investigators.

United Kingdom police renewed their appeal Saturday for people who may have seen Sergei Skripal's burgundy BMW auto on the morning of Sunday, March 4, to share what they know.

Yulia Skripal flew to London from Russian Federation on March 3, according to counter-terrorism police.

Some 53 percent said May had responded well to the Salisbury attack, while 23 percent thought she had responded badly.

Wiltshire Police said 131 people had been identified as potentially being exposed to the nerve agent - but none has shown any symptoms.

Russian news agencies cited politicians in Russia's Upper House of Parliament as welcoming the move to close the British Council, alleging it had been used as a cover by British spies. The Kremlin has always denied the accusation.

"The Russian state was culpable of the attempted murder" of spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, May told lawmakers.

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