Russia to kick out UK diplomats soon
Moscow (Web Desk): Russia will expel British diplomats in a retaliation move as the spy poisoning row escalates, it has been announced.
It comes after Theresa May moved to banish 23 Russian spooks within a week in the wake of the Skripal scandal.
Russia will soon expel British diplomats in retaliation for Britain’s decision to kick out 23 Russian envoys over a chemical attack on a former Russian double agent, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.
In London, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson ratcheted up the rhetoric against Russia, accusing it of glorying in the attack on Sergei Skripal, which he described as a way of scaring anyone who stood up to President Vladimir Putin.
Britain says Russia is responsible for the poisoning with a Soviet-era ‘Novichok’ nerve agent of Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33. They were found unconscious on March 4 in the city of Salisbury in southern England and remain critically ill in hospital.
Moscow denies any involvement. The Kremlin said the British position was irresponsible and not backed up by evidence. It said Britain would not have to wait long for Russia’s response.
Lavrov was quoted by the official news agency RIA as saying the accusations were unacceptable and that British diplomats would be expelled.
Lavrov said Russia’s response would come “very soon” but be conveyed to British officials first, an apparent contradiction of an earlier report by state news agency RIA that said Lavrov had promised to expel British diplomats.
In the biggest expulsion of Russian diplomats from London since the Cold War, Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday gave 23 Russians who she said were spies working under diplomatic cover a week to leave London.
“These are all signs of a provocation against our country. The position of the British side seems absolutely irresponsible to us,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.