Russia to expel UK diplomats as crisis over nerve toxin attack deepens

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 18, 2018

Opponents of President Vladimir Putin used graffiti on Thursday to take an ironic swipe at Russian Federation over the nerve toxin attack on a former double agent.

London's expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats over the poisoning amounted to a 40 percent staff cut and would seriously affect the work of his embassy, he was also cited as saying.

In 2006, green tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 was used to murder ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin, in London.

"Sooner or later the British side would have to present some kind of comprehensive evidence [of Russia's involvement], at least, to their partners [France, the US, Germany], who declared solidarity with London in this situation", Peskov added. "This use of chemical weapons is a clear violation of the global law", he said. The British diplomats have a week to leave.

According to Wednesday's statement, the British government drummed up allegations of Russia's involvement in killing a spy that Vladimir Putin himself once seemed to reference personally in a threatening statement about "traitors kicking the bucket". While Russian officials have not disputed that the chemical weapon known as Novichok is indeed a Soviet creation that, as far as the worldwide governments of the world are aware, has not been recreated in the laboratories of other nations, they have contested the determination that the substance used in the attack was Novichok at all - demanding that they be permitted to conduct their own independent analysis of the substance recovered at the scene.

"Perhaps it's clear that London has found itself in a very hard situation over Brexit negotiations with the European Union", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

A British policeman was also poisoned when he went to help them is in a serious but stable condition.

The ex-spy and his daughter Yulia remain critically ill in hospital.

May told Turnbull that she visited Salisbury on Thursday and that the act "represented an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the U.K".

Escalating a crisis in relations, Russian Federation said it was also shutting down the activities of the British Council, which fosters cultural links between the two countries, and withdrawing agreement for Britain to operate a consulate-general in St. Petersburg. The United States, France and Germany also condemned Russian Federation over the attack.

The Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that 19 Russian individuals and five Russian entities would be sanctioned for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election and engaging in cyberattacks. The number of Americans on the sanctioned people list will be raised to match that USA tally.

Russian Federation denies being the source of the nerve agent used and has demanded Britain share samples collected by investigators.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE