Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Britain Withdraws Invite To Russia Foreign Minister. Moscow Deny Accepting It

Britain Withdraws Invite To Russia Foreign Minister. Moscow Deny Accepting It

Britain has expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the poisoning, and Russia expelled British diplomats in response.

Prime Minister Theresa May told lawmakers that 23 Russian diplomats who have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers have a week to leave the country.

Russia denies the charge despite the use of a nerve agent that is seen as its exclusive property to attack former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter last week.

Russia's Investigative Committee said it had launched its own criminal proceedings in connection with the "attempted murder of a Russian citizen, Yulia Skripal" in Salisbury and the "murder" of Glushkov in London.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said to expect a Russian response "shortly" to Britain's expulsion of Russian diplomats and accused Britain of violating worldwide law and "common sense".

Mr Shulgin added: "For sure they will not be able to tell where the substance came from - this will require dialogue between Russian Federation and the United Kingdom".

The United States, France and Germany on Thursday formally backed Britain's claims that Russian Federation likely was responsible for the attack, calling it the "first offensive use of a nerve agent" in Europe since World War II.

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Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson said Friday it was "overwhelmingly likely" President Vladimir Putin directly ordered the attack.

"We have nothing against the Russians themselves".

Sergei Skripal, 66, (left) and his daughter Yulia, 33, remain critically ill in hospital after they were attacked with a nerve agent. They added that "Russia's failure to address the legitimate request by the United Kingdom government further underlines its responsibility".

The British Embassy in Moscow told CNN it had been given a list of 23 specific individuals that were to be expelled from Russian Federation.

U.S. Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, head of U.S. forces in Europe, said the incident highlighted how far Russian Federation was willing to go to achieve its goals.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, speaking to CNN, slammed that remark.

"We hope reason will prevail and other countries will think hard how serious the evidence against Russian Federation is", he said.

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But he added: "Measures to tackle the oligarchs and their loot would have a far greater impact on Russia's elite than limited tit-for-tat expulsions".

"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.

Experts say Russian Federation is the only-known maker of Novichok.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to members of military as she visits Salisbury southwest England, March 15, 2018.

Analysts say this means the Britain could go after Russian interests.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May had pointed accussing fingers at Russian Federation for being responsible for the attack on Skripal and his daughter.

Separately, Washington on Thursday slapped sanctions on two of Russia's biggest intelligence agencies, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the GRU military intelligence service, in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and malicious cyber attacks.

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- In January, 2006 Moscow said it had uncovered four British spies who enjoyed diplomatic status and engaged in the alleged illegal funding of pro-democracy and human rights groups.

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