Sergei Skripal: Russia expels 23 British diplomats

18 March, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption President Vladimir Putin is asked whether Russia had a hand in the Skripal poisoning

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday also accused Britain of violating worldwide law, and said Britain's defence minister "lacks education".

The Prime Minister also welcomed the support of Germany, France and the USA, which support her decision to expel the Russian diplomats.

He had previously said Russian Federation had no motive to target Skripal, but suggested others could use the poisoning to "complicate" the World Cup.

The United States and two major European allies on Thursday formally backed Britain's claims that Russian Federation likely was responsible for a chemical toxin attack against a former spy living in England, calling it the "first offensive use of a nerve agent" in Europe since World War II.

She warned more measures could follow, noting that the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and the UN Security Council had discussed the attack, while it was also expected to be on the agenda of the European Union summit next week.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that he would announce unspecified "measures" in the coming days over the poisoning of a Russian former double agent in Britain.

"In his campaign rally in Crimea today, President Putin reiterated Russia's false claims to Ukrainian territory in another open admission that the Russian government disdains the worldwide order and disrespects the territorial integrity of sovereign nations", Nauert said.

Asked by reporters on Thursday whether Russian Federation was behind the attack, President Donald Trump said, "It looks like it".


The White House said it shared Britain's assessment that Russia was responsible and supported the decision to expel Russian diplomats.

All four shared Britain's assessment that it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible for the attack, and condemned Russia's failure to address the "legitimate" request by the United Kingdom government to explain whether and how a nerve agent developed under a Russian nerve agent programme could have gotten into third-party control.

Russian Federation offered some cooperation to British authorities after the 2006 London murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko too.

France, which on Wednesday had said it wanted proof of Russian involvement before deciding whether to take action against Moscow, swung behind Britain on Thursday.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday that Washington believed Moscow was responsible for the attack, adding it was a crime worthy of U.N. Security Council action. They are both in critical condition. He claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly wanted to tell people thinking of defecting from Russia "you do that, you're going to die".

Britain's response has also been complicated by an initially lackluster reaction from the US.

He said even the name Novichok was a "Western invention" and that Russian Federation never gave it a name.

He said nerve agents like Novichok are usually highly unstable and degrade quickly in the presence of moisture, but that if the agent was sealed in a tight container "it ought to be able to hang around".

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