United Kingdom claims are 'insane' - Russian Federation

Posted March 18, 2018

Her father has British citizenship. Sergei Skripal, 66, and Yulia Skripal, 33, remain in a critical condition in hospital.

But to the West, they are raising similar concerns.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement and vowed a swift response to the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats, whom the United Kingdom said were operating as spies.

The crisis comes as Russian Federation prepares for a presidential election on Sunday in which Vladimir Putin is expected to easily win a fourth term.

British police said there is no apparent link between the attack on Glushkov and the poisoning of the Skripals, but both have raised alarm in the west at a time when Russian Federation is increasingly assertive on the global stage and facing investigations over alleged interference in the Donald Trump's election as USA president.

Relations between London and Moscow have crashed to a post-Cold War low over the attack, the first known offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War Two.

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"A final decision [on retaliatory measures] will, of course, be made by the president of the Russian Federation", presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to state-run Tass media. "We calmly respond to all these tricks by the fact that we want to talk with everyone and discuss any problems... but do it respectfully, without hysteria", Lavrov told reporters.

Russian Federation is likely to, at the very least, expel a similar number of British diplomats.

Britain's allies expressed solidarity over the attack.

Haley called the crisis a "defining moment" for the U.N. and said the United States was solidly behind Britain.

The statement says the use of the nerve agent "by a state party is a clear violation of the chemical weapons convention and a breach of global law".

Britain had demanded Russian Federation disclose details of the programme to the OPCW by midnight on Tuesday, but Moscow refused to respond to the "language of ultimatums".

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Russia's envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons told The AP that his country has no stocks of the Novichok group of nerve agents, insisting that Soviet-era research into the agents was totally dismantled before Russian Federation joined the organization.

The US is among several countries backing British claims that Moscow was to blame.

Analysts said that Britain was bracing for a tit-for-tat response from Russian Federation. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials have suggested that the nerve agent attack probably does not rise to that level.

Mr Lavrov later said Russian Federation first tell Britain about any retaliatory measures against London in the spy case before revealing them to the wider public. She says it's highly likely it came from Russian Federation, and gives Moscow until midnight March 13 to provide an explanation or face "extensive" retaliatory measures.

"We demand that material proof be provided of the allegedly found Russian trace", said Nebenzia.

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