3 countries blame Russian Federation for United Kingdom nerve agent attack

UK TV regulator writes to RT says it may consider whether channel's license is 'fit and proper'

Asked by Reuters at a summit on Syria in the Kazakh capital if Russian Federation planned to expel British diplomats, Lavrov replied: "We will, of course".

Earlier in the day, Lavrov said that Moscow will kick British diplomats out of the country in response to Britain's expulsion of 23 Russians it said were working as spies under diplomatic cover.

Any boycott of the soccer World Cup, which Russian Federation hosts this summer, is not an immediate priority, she said.

Meanwhile, Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has said that Johnson's accusation against the Russian president was unforgivable.

On March 4, ex-intelligence officer Sergey Skripal aged 66, and his daughter Yulia, aged 33, came into contact with a nerve agent and were found unconscious on a bench in The Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, UK.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering a nerve agent attack in Britain, ratcheting up tensions Friday in an increasingly global showdown over alleged Russian meddling overseas.

Kuntsevich's activities in Syria eventually became known to the Mossad, which raised concern in Israel and prompted then-prime minister Ehud Barak to alert Moscow to Kuntsevich's efforts, which the report said were likely at his own initiative.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said a sample of the toxin would instead be sent to the independent, worldwide Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The tensions threaten to overshadow Putin's expected re-election Sunday for another six-year presidential term.

Peskov later told reporters that Russia's response to the British measures could come "at any minute".

Britain is expelling 23 Russian diplomats and taking other steps against Russian interests as the two nations' relations plummet.

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The poisoning of 66-year-old Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury with a nerve agent identified by British authorities as one made only by Russian Federation has thrown the two countries' relations into a profound crisis.

Pharmacology experts said Novichok, a broad category of more than 100 nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union during the late stages of the Cold War, was "more unsafe and sophisticated" than sarin or VX.

However the joint statement announced no new action other than calling on Russian Federation to "live up to its responsibilities" to uphold peace and security.

"There is no place for these people or their money in our country", May said.

But he added: "We are right, we know what we are doing, and the time will come when the people of Britain will understand that they have maybe to have another government or other people who have a better policy towards Russian Federation".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian Federation was "worried by this situation" and would work to express its position on the worldwide stage.

Mr Yakovenko said that under the Vienna Convention, Russia should be granted consular access to its citizens, adding: "Basically, Britain doesn't respect global law and the way they are behaving puts a lot of questions".

In a statement late Friday, May's office said the OPCW had agreed to travel to Britain to collect a sample of the nerve agent.

In a sign of just how tense the relationship has become, British and Russian ministers used openly insulting language while the Russian ambassador said Britain was trying to divert attention from the difficulties it was having managing its exit from the European Union.

But he said that like the Prime Minister he did not rule out the possibility that the crime had been committed by Russian mafia-like groups rather than the Russian state.

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