Published: Thu, March 22, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Russia's foreign minister threatens to retaliate against Britain

Russia's foreign minister threatens to retaliate against Britain

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, are in critical condition in the English city of Salisbury after being poisoned on March 4. After several days of investigation, British authorities determined that they were poisoned with a nerve agent known as Novichok, which is believed to be unique to Russian Federation. Western powers have described it as a sign of increasingly aggressive Russian meddling overseas.

The Foreign Secretary said Moscow has investigated ways of delivering nerve agents for assassination over the last 10 years in a breach of global rules.

The measures were in response to "the provocative actions of the British side and the unsubstantiated accusations" against Russian Federation, the ministry said. "The first thing that entered my head was that if it had been a military-grade nerve agent, the people would have died on the spot", Putin told reporters on Sunday.

"The lives of many citizens were threatened by this reckless and illegal act", the European Union ministers said.

While the Kremlin told Britain to back up its assertions or apologize, Britain's fellow European Union members offered it "unqualified solidarity".

Britain's Johnson said the "obvious Russian-ness of the weapon" was "designed to send a signal to anyone pondering dissent".

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Russian embassy workers waved to the leaving diplomats and their families as the buses pulled away, a Reuters photographer at the scene said.

The government in London "anticipated a response of this kind and the National Security Council will meet early next week to consider next steps", a statement from British foreign office said. "We destroyed all our chemical weapons under the supervision of global organisations, and we did it first, unlike some of our partners who promised to do it, but unfortunately did not keep their promises".

The NATO chief said the attack in Salisbury "comes at the background of a pattern of reckless behavior of Russian Federation".

"Russia will continue to seek to divide us", Stoltenberg.

Jens Stoltenberg said "all 29 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies stand united. And we stand in solidarity with the U.K".

As Prime Minister Theresa May solemnly told a packed House of Commons last week that she would expel 23 Russian diplomats over the nerve agent attack on a former spy, British investors across town were lending millions of dollars to Moscow's state-controlled natural gas giant, Gazprom.

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"Russia's response doesn't change the facts of the matter - the attempted assassination of two people on British soil, for which there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable."

The U.S. also has condemned the attack and urged Moscow to explain its actions.

OPCW inspectors on March 19 began running independent tests on samples taken from Salisbury to verify the British analysis, media reported.

The team from The Hague will use worldwide laboratories to carry out tests on the nerve agent.

Twenty-three Russian diplomats and their families were on their way home on Tuesday after being expelled by the United Kingdom government in retaliation against the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4.

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