UK expels 23 Russian diplomats over spy poisoning and block high level contact with Russia
London, March 14, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The UK has expelled 23 Russian diplomats in the country after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on former spy in Salisbury, the PM says.
Theresa May said the diplomats, who have a week to leave, were identified as “undeclared intelligence officers”.
Russia denies being involved in the attempted murder of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
It refused to meet Mrs May’s midnight deadline to co-operate in the case.
May says high-level contacts with Russia will be cancelled. The invitation to Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, to visit the UK has been withdrawn. And ministers and dignitaries will not be attending the World Cup.
May says other measures may be taken which will not be publicised.
She says the UK wanted a better relationship with Russia.
It is “tragic” that President Putin has acted like this, she says.
She says the UK does not stand alone. She has spoken to allies who are backing the UK.
It is pushing for a debate at the UN, she says.
She says the government is also trying to ensure the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons can verify what the UK claims.