British Prime Minister Teresa May announced that 23 Russian diplomats will be expelled from the UK. They are suspected of intelligence activities: they have a week to leave the country.
Russia refused to provide evidence of its non-involvement, said May. She added that Russia’s actions constitute an illegal use of force against Britain. She also noted that Moscow responded to a demand to explain the Salisbury incident with “sarcasm and denial”.
According to May, Russia not only committed an attempt on the murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, but also violated the norms prohibiting the use of chemical weapons. The Prime Minister believes that Russia has an undeclared chemical program. She announced the toughening of inspections for air transportation and customs control, as well as the suspension of meetings and visits at the highest level.
After this disgusting act, the old relationship is no longer possible. We will suspend all bilateral contacts and make sure that neither members of the royal family nor [British] officials are present at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Russia’s Ambassador to London, Alexander Yakovenko, called the actions of Britain unacceptable and said that Moscow views them as a provocation. Earlier, a probable expulsion of Russian diplomats was reported by the correspondent of the Sky News television channel.