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The chain of events: How the poisoning of Sergei Skripal led to a new crisis of relations between Russia and Britain

On March 14, British Prime Minister Teresa May will address the parliament and announce what measures her country will take in response to the poisoning of the spy defector Sergei Skripal, in which 22 more British citizens suffered.

The British authorities gave Russia a day to provide information, but received only mirror accusations.  how the story developed around the poisoning agent of Russian and British intelligence services, whose lives now depend on the relationship of the two regional powers.

5th of March

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia found unconscious in the park of the town of Salisbury. They were quickly hospitalized (and entered into a coma). By this time, the neighborhood of the park and the restaurant where Skripali had supper was cordoned off by specialists in chemical protection suits.

Police officers also examined the house of Skripal. One of the law enforcers was subsequently hospitalized . His condition was normalized to “consistently heavy”. In total, due to the poisoning of Skrypal, 21 people were examined .

6 March (Britain)

The Telegraph reported that an agent of British intelligence could poison with the help of a drug fentanyl, which is stronger than heroin 10 thousand times. Among other options , poisonous fighting gases, ricin and sarin, were also called.

9 March (Britain)

The Financial Times reported with reference to sources in the intelligence that Skripal had cooperated with MI6 after being extradited from Russia. He could help with the preparation of counter-scouts, relying on his knowledge of the methods of the GRU in Europe.

10 March (Britain)

The soldiers arrived in Salisbury. They cordoned off the cemetery, where the son and wife of Skripal were buried, a tent for exhumation was erected over their graves. From the cemetery yellow barrels were taken out, what was in them was unknown.

The Daily Mail, citing sources in the investigation, published one of the first versions of the poisoning, explaining the appearance of the military at the cemetery: the poison could be passed to Skripal along with the bouquet, which he then laid on his wife’s grave.

March 12 (Britain)

Theresa May accused Russia of being involved in the incident with the Violin. According to her, the spy was poisoned with the combat gas of the class “Rookie”, which was developed in the USSR. The Prime Minister gave the Kremlin a day to clarify, threatening with new sanctions.

The head of the British Foreign Ministry, Boris Johnson, called the Russian ambassador for consultations. He was also asked to provide the data of the program “Rookie” to the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

March 12 (Russia)

Maria Zakharova called the speech of the head of the British government “a circus show in Parliament,” and the investigation of the case of Skripal – “another information and political campaign based on provocation.”

The BBC journalists tried to find out Putin’s opinion, but he declined to comment on May’s accusations: “We are engaged in agriculture here […] You first understand there, and then we will discuss it.”

March 13 (Russia)

Sergei Lavrov said that his department did not receive requests for a substance allegedly poisoned by Skripal and his daughter. He demanded full access to all the investigation data, as Yulia Skripal is a Russian citizen.

Maria Zakharova supported Lavrov ‘s statement that there were no official requests, and also accused Teresa Mei of insufficient awareness: “I took the bag, came, said something – I do not understand what it says at all.”

March 13 (Britain)

The Times found that the British authorities could react to the poisoning of Skripal by expelling Russian diplomats, freezing accounts and withdrawing visas from those close to Putin, boycotting the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Britain can also launch a cyber attack on Russian websites – government information portals and resources, which are linked to the “troll factory” of businessman Yevgeny Prigogine, also known as the “cook of Putin”.

13 March (France)

Condemning the attempt on Sergei Skripal was made by French President Emmanuel Macron. He said that such attacks are unacceptable, and his country is in solidarity with Great Britain.

13 March (Germany)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her concern and “severely condemned” the poisoning of Skripal. She added that Russia should “quickly answer the just questions of the British government.”

March 13 (USA)

The head of the US State Department, Rex Tillerson, said that the poisoning of Skripal “obviously comes from Russia” and “definitely will trigger a response”. A few hours later, Donald Trump announced the resignation of Tillerson and appointed in his place more loyal to him director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo.

Trump agreed with the findings of the British government about Russia’s involvement in the poisoning of Skripal, “taking into account all the evidence available.” He promised to take retaliatory measures “as soon as America arranges facts”.

March 14 (Britain)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom announced the convening of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. Its representatives also called the alleged actions of Russia a continuation of the “pattern of aggression of the Russian authorities”.

Shortly after the appearance of this information, Sky News journalists learnedthat the British government is preparing to “significantly” expel Russian diplomats from the country. Whether the Russian ambassador will be expelled in the UK is not clear.

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