Russian Federation summons British ambassador as it readies to expel diplomats

Russian Federation summons British ambassador as it readies to expel diplomats

On March 15 Britain, France, Germany and the USA say in a rare joint declaration that "there is no plausible alternative explanation" to Russian involvement and call on Moscow to provide "full and complete disclosure" of the Soviet-era chemical programme that developed Novichok.

A still image from CCTV footage recorded on February 27, 2018 shows former Russian spy Sergei Skripal buying groceries at the Bargain Stop convenience store in Salisbury on February 27, 2018. Putin's spokesman denounced the claim.

"They will leave on March 20", Tass quoted Yakovenko as saying.

She also reiterated her desire to "dismantle" the so-called Russian spy network operating out of the United Kingdom, and to suspend all planned contact between London and Moscow. The tensions threaten to overshadow Putin's expected re-election Sunday for another six-year presidential term.

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

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the British government "liars" because London has failed to process dozens of Moscow's requests to hand over criminals and murderers living on its territory. She continued to elaborate that Russian Federation had created a "well established pattern" and their response "has shown complete disdain" as the matter was treated with "sarcasm, contempt and defiance". Her father has British citizenship. Both remain in a serious condition along with a police officer who came in contact with the same substance.

But to the West, they are raising similar concerns.

"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".

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But "Russia's reaction could be also be more wide-reaching", it predicted, citing diplomatic sources.

Following recent tussle between the United Kingdom and Russian governments, the Russian media has today accused British Prime Minister Theresa May of having "poisoned" relations with Moscow by announcing the expulsion for the UK. It's good it was not on a diplomatic front but on a step'.

Johnson said the evidence of Russian guilt was "overwhelming" because only Moscow had access to the poison used and a motive for harming Skripal.

On Friday, London's Metropolitan Police said a Russian exile opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin who was found dead in London was murdered.

Peskov reiterated Moscow's position that Britain's accusations were unfounded and that the attack on Skripal had "all the signs of a provocation".

"We have never encountered this level of discussion on the global stage", Peskov told reporters.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told The Associated Press that the Salisbury attack was a direct challenge to Europe.

Haley said the Russians have recently complained about being criticized too much, suggesting the criticism would cease if the Russians didn't use chemical weapons to assassinate their enemies or gave aid to Assad in his war against his own people.

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