Moscow gives 23 British diplomats a week to pack

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reiterated Russian denials of involvement in the poisoning attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter and denied the existence of the nerve agent Novichok that Britain said was used against them. The attack on Skripal and his daughter has brought relations between Russian Federation and the U.K.to their lowest since the end of the Cold War. "This use of chemical weapons is a clear violation of the global law", he said. Putin, a former KGB spy who is poised to win a fourth term in an election on Sunday, has so far only said publicly that Britain should get to the bottom of what has happened.

Russian Federation refused to respond to Theresa May's demands for it to explain why Novichok was used in the attack in Salisbury, or to explain how and when it may have lost control of its stocks of the nerve agent.

Russian Federation is to expel 23 British diplomats in a row over the nerve agent attack on an-ex spy and his daughter in the UK.

Britain has called for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to update members on the investigation into a nerve agent attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

Russian Federation failed to respond to a deadline set by Theresa May for Moscow to explain whether it was behind the attack.

Putin underscored that the Russian population is the country's "only source of power" and said that the Russian people have always decided their own fate by themselves based on their "conscience, understanding of truth and justice and love for the Fatherland".

London's Metropolitan Police said on Friday they believed the former associate of Berezovsky, Nikolai Glushkov, had been strangled to death and counter-terrorism officers would continue to lead the investigation.

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Skripal, who was convicted in Russian Federation of selling state secrets to Britain, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in the city of Salisbury.

Investigators reportedly have another theory for the location of the nerve agent that left former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia hospitalised - it may have been hidden in her suitcase. Russian Federation has said it will reply in kind.

"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". The two remain in critical condition.

The council's activity here had already been significantly curtailed by Moscow after the last crisis in relations, when Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned.

President Donald Trump joined British Prime Minister Theresa May and the leaders of Germany and France on Thursday to issue a joint statement pinning the blame for the attack squarely on the Russian government.

On Friday, the Kremlin was quick to dismiss Britain's accusation that President Vladimir Putin was behind the attack, calling the claim "shocking and inexcusable". British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson sparked particular outrage in Moscow with his blunt comment on Thursday that "Russia should go away, it should shut up". Williamson studied social science at the University of Bradford.

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