Russian Federation could attack NY by Chemical Weapons: Nikki Haley

19 March, 2018, 00:49 | Author: Judith Dennis
  • US, France, Germany blame Russia for attack on ex-spy

MOSCOW - Russia on Saturday announced it is expelling 23 British diplomats and threatened further measures in retaliation in a growing diplomatic dispute over a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain.

The sanctions affect 13 Russian nationals and three entities aligned with the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a group that in essence serves as Russia's propaganda arm and is believed by US intelligence to have been behind divisive online ads released during the election.

Britain accuses Russian Federation of using the Soviet-era "Novichok" nerve agent on Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33 in the city of Salisbury in southern England.

As they say at the ministry, UK Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry and given a note on decisions taken in response to provocative actions of the British side and evidence-free accusations of Russia in connection with the incident in Salisbury.

On Wednesday, a White House statement said it "stands in solidarity" with the United Kingdom and supported its decision to expel the Russian diplomats, also accusing Russia of undermining the security of countries worldwide.

Britain's foreign minister, Boris Johnson also claimed that it is "highly likely" that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself ordered the nerve-agent attack on the spy.

Russia's response does not change the fact that Moscow was in "flagrant breach of global law" and the Chemical Weapons Convention, she said. Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain will consider further retaliatory steps in the coming days alongside its allies.

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

In a strongly worded statement to the House of Commons, May said the "military grade" nerve agent used in the attack had been identified as Novichok, a substance developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. "Any reference or mentioning of our President is nothing else but shocking and unpardonable diplomatic misconduct".

"It is possible that (Britain) will continue to respond; we are ready for this".

He also said that the Russian side is satisfied with the way the London police cooperate in looking into the threats.

Russian investigators said on Friday they had opened a criminal investigation into the attempted murder of Yulia Skripal and a murder investigation into Glushkov's death. There's no evidence at this stage that his death and the attack on the Skripals are linked, it said.

UK-Russia relations have been fractious ever since the assassination of another former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, in 2006.

Russian Federation denies being the source of the nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. The Kremlin has always denied the accusation.

The Government is preparing further moves against Russian Federation following a day of tit-for-tat action over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal. She said Britain is taking a tough line because of frustration at recent advances of Russian-backed Syrian government forces against Western-backed rebels. He was granted refuge in the UK after a high-profile spy exchange between the United States and Russian Federation in 2010.

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