May responds to Russia's expulsion of United Kingdom diplomats

Frederick Owens
March 19, 2018

Prime Minister May said Saturday that Britain would, "consider our next steps in the coming days alongside our allies and partners", after Russia's expulsion of the diplomats.

In addition, Moscow said it was rescinding permission for the open a new consular office in St. Petersburg, and that it was shuttering the British Council, a United Kingdom government organization based in Moscow and dedicated to cultural and scientific cooperation between the countries.

To recall, the police appealed to the local residents asking whether they saw Skripal's auto on March 4, i.e. on the day of poisoning.

"Russia's response doesn't change the facts of the matter - the attempted assassination of two people on British soil, for which there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable." it said in a statement.

But Skripal, 66, the Russian ex-spy who was the target of the attack, and his daughter Yulia, 33, remain critical but stable in hospital.

The statement said Moscow could take further measures if Britain implements any more "unfriendly" moves toward Russian Federation. The organization has been operating in Russian Federation since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

The poisoning has plunged Britain and Russian Federation into a war of recrimination and blame.

"We have not raised any tensions in our relations, it was the decision by the British side without evidence", he told The Associated Press.

Yesterday, the Russian foreign ministry tweeted an RT interview with Alexander Shulgin, Russia's permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in which he suggested British authorities were "afraid".

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Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswomen Maria Zakharova on Saturday said the nerve agent had never been developed in the Soviet Union or Russian Federation and said it was most likely from somewhere in western Europe.

The source of the nerve agent - which Britain says is Soviet-made Novichok - is unclear, as is the way it was administered.

Kremlin officials privately acknowledge a worry that some of Russia's 110 million eligible voters will not bother casting ballots because they believe Putin is a shoo-in.

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

Asked how the nerve agent came to be used in Salisbury, he said: 'When you have a nerve agent or whatever, you check it against certain samples that you retain in your laboratories.

Russian Federation denies involvement and warned for days that it would reply to the UK's expulsion of 40% of its diplomats in London. Russian Federation has consistently denied any culpability, accusing Britain of refusing to hand over samples of the poison used.

British police appealed Saturday for witnesses who can help investigators reconstruct the Skripals' movements in the crucial hours before they were found unconscious.

In what seems like a odd coincidence, police now say Nikolai Glushkov, a Russian former businessman, was murdered last week at his home just outside London.

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