May `anticipatedĀ“ Russian retaliation in ex-spy poisoning row

Posted March 18, 2018

The tensions come as presidential elections take place in Russian Federation.

The announcement followed Britain's order this week for 23 Russian diplomats to leave the United Kingdom because Russia was not cooperating in the case of the Skripals, who were found March 4 poisoned by a nerve agent that British officials say was developed in Russia.

Mr Shulgin previously said they had warned Britain that should they fail to produce any evidence, "we will draw the conclusion that London has nothing serious against us and. there will be a question of defamation".

Gerashchenko stressed that in such a way Ukraine demonstrates its position regarding the non-recognition of the Russian presidential elections in the territory of the occupied Ukrainian Crimea.

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"The Prime Minister set out a number of measures which we took to defend ourselves against this type of attack". The pair remain critically ill in the hospital. It also said it is ordering the closure in Russian Federation of the British Council, a government-backed organization for cultural and scientific cooperation, and is ending an agreement to reopen the British consulate in St. Petersburg. Russian officials had previously said that Russia had destroyed the Novichok weapons when it had dismantled its chemical arsenal, which was completed past year.

The Russian foreign ministry said it was taking the measures in response to what it called the U.K.'s "provocative actions and unfounded accusations" over the poisoning case.

This week, May expelled 23 Russian diplomats and severed high-level contacts over the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

On March 13, the British ambassador was also summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. The PM wanted the Kremlin to explain whether it was behind the nerve agent attack.

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On March 16, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering the poisoning.

It comes as another senior Russian official, Alexander Shulgin, claimed Moscow does not have any chemical weapons and had never heard of the deadly Novichok substance used in the attack. Russia is also investigating the mysterious death of a Russian businessman who lived in London. Nikolai Glushkov was found dead at his home this week. British police said Friday that he died from compression to the neck and opened a murder investigation.

Russian news agencies cited politicians in Russia's upper house of parliament as welcoming the move to close the British Council, alleging it had been used as a cover by British spies. Detectives are keeping an "open mind" about the death, police said.

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