Czech foreign minister rejects Russia's nerve toxin origin claim

Russia threatens to ban all UK media if RT loses license

Sergei Skripal's pets were removed after the 66-year-old and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious in Salisbury after being attacked with a nerve agent on March 4.

A Downing Street spokesman would not be drawn on whether Theresa May endorsed Mr Williamson's comments, saying only: "The Prime Minister sent her own very clear message to Russian Federation over the course of the week".

Mr Johnson's decision to place blame for the attack in Salisbury on Mr Putin personally came as Britain awaited Moscow's response to the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats.

It also said it would close the British Council in Russian Federation, which promotes cultural ties between the nations, and the British Consulate in St Petersburg.

They're both still in a critical condition in hospital and it seems officers are also concerned about their pets.

The Russian government has also been vague about its response to Washington's expansion of sanctions announced Thursday against Russian individuals believed to have played a role in alleged cyberattacks and attempts to influence the 2016 US presidential election. Putin's spokesman denounced the claim.

"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 Foreign Office said. Vasilyeva said that all joint educational programs with the British Council would be suspended in Russian Federation pending decision on the status of the organization on the country's territory.

Speaking to the AP, he called it unlikely that some of the nerve agent could have gone missing in the years after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. "It is our view that when political or diplomatic relations become hard, cultural relations and educational opportunities are vital to maintaining on-going dialogue between people and institutions".

"We call on Russian Federation to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold worldwide peace and security", the statement said.

Mr Corbyn said that Mrs May was right on Monday to identify two possibilities for the source of the nerve agent - either Russian Federation authorised the attack or had lost control of the Novichok substance.

Sunday marks exactly four years since Putin signed a treaty declaring Crimea to be a part of Russian Federation after its annexation from Ukraine in a move that triggered the outbreak of a pro-Kremlin insurgency in the east of the ex-Soviet country.

U.K. -Russia relations have plunged to Cold War-era levels of iciness since the poisoning.

Mrs May has said the United Kingdom will expel 23 Russian diplomats as part of a "full and robust" response - prompting Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to say it will "certainly" expel British diplomats in response.

In their joint statement, Trump, Macron, Merkel and May cited "a pattern of earlier irresponsible Russian behavior" and called on Russia to disclose details of its Novichok program to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Alexander Gabuev, a Russian foreign policy analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center, said the delay is likely related to Sunday's presidential election. "We have not raised any tensions in our relations, it was the decision by the British side without evidence".

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday that Moscow would expand its own "black list" of Americans, adding that additional measures have not yet been ruled out.

May said Britain would also clamp down on murky Russian money and strengthen the government's ability to impose sanctions on those who abuse human rights, though she gave few details.



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