Chemical weapons experts heading to United Kingdom in Russian Federation spy case

The confrontation escalated after Theresa May accused Moscow on Wednesday of an “unlawful use of force” involving a weapons-grade nerve agent and ordered out the largest number of Russian diplomats from London in 30 years

Boris Johnson has accused Russian Federation of "stockpiling" the deadly nerve agent believed to have poisoned former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Former Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found slumped over, unconscious on a park bench earlier this month in the southern English town of Salisbury.

Vladimir Chizhov, Moscow's European Union ambassador, said Russian Federation has no chemical weapons stockpiles and was not behind the poisoning.

Malcolm Turnbull spoke to British Prime Minister Theresa May over the weekend and said the United Kingdom made a compelling case the nerve agent was Russian, however the Russian ambassador to Australia argued the United Kingdom had more of a motive to poison the pair.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, Johnson said Russian Federation has been stockpiling Novichok, the agent used on Skripal.

British Military personnel wearing protective coveralls work to remove a vehicle connected to the March 4 nerve agent attack in Salisbury, from a residential street in Gillingham, southeast England on March 14, 2018.

He also pledged to use existing sanctions under the Criminal Finances Act passed a year ago to crack down on unexplained wealth that may have been obtained by corruption, or where there was evidence of a link with the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin.

"This is not the response of a country that really believes itself to be innocent", he said.

Russian Federation gave the British diplomats one week to leave.

Mr Johnson also backed a suggestion that Russian Federation had told a "direct lie" about its chemical weapons stores.

Brown's comments come shortly after Trump questioned the makeup of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's team and reiterated that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.

The closure of the British Council's Moscow office will sever cultural ties, while that of the consulate-general in St Petersburg will end Britain's diplomatic presence in Russia's second city.

Mr Stoltenberg said he expected the response to Russian Federation to be reassessed at July's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, telling German media the Salisbury attack followed a pattern of Russian Federation "becoming more unpredictable and more aggressive".

The government's national security committee will meet this week to consider further measures.

And John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said Labour had given a "constructive critique" in response to the incident which others "had misread". He called for restraint and "cooler heads", telling the Mail on Sunday: "This dispute is indeed escalating dangerously and out of proportion".



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