Russian Federation to expel 23 United Kingdom diplomats

Russia expels 23 British diplomats in spy poisoning crisis

Russian Federation is expected to expel British diplomats from Moscow in retaliation for British Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement that she was kicking 23 spies out of Britain over the Skripal poisoning row.

Following the meeting, Mr Bristow said: "This crisis has arisen as a result of an appalling attack in the United Kingdom, the attempted murder of two people using a chemical weapon developed in Russian Federation and not declared by Russian Federation to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as Russian Federation is obliged to do under the Chemical Weapons Act".

The Russian response was announced on the eve of a presidential election which is expected to hand Vladimir Putin a fourth term in the Kremlin, but which comes as the country appears increasingly isolated.

In comments to reporters after he left the Foreign Ministry, Bristow said the crisis had arisen because of "the attempted murder of two people using a chemical weapon developed in Russian Federation and not declared by Russian Federation".

In Britain, they said that such a step from Russian Federation was expected, and the National Security Council would meet next week to consider the next steps.

Britain's ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, was summoned to Russia's foreign ministry on Saturday and was handed Russia's response to the UK's sanctions.

The British consulate in St. Petersburg was also ordered to close and the British Council must stop its work in Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a website statement Saturday.

"We will always do what is necessary to defend ourselves, our allies and our values against an attack of this sort, which is an attack not only on the United Kingdom, but upon the global rules-based system on which all countries, including Russian Federation, depend for their safety and security", Bristow told reporters after being informed of the expulsions.

The two are hospitalized in critical condition.

Britain's Foreign Ministry said it had anticipated Russia's response and its priority now is looking after its staff in Russian Federation and assisting those who will return home.

Leaders from the United States, Germany and France have already joined the U.K.in accusing Russian Federation of being behind the attack in a statement this week.

British police are not linking his case with the Salisbury attack.

The Metropolitan Police believe the Skripals used the burgundy red BMW 320D saloon - registration HD09 WAO - on Sunday 4 March, the day of the attack.

Moscow has said it is open to cooperation with London, but has refused Britain's demands to explain how Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet military, was used against the Skripals.

Russia's Defence Ministry called UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson a "vulgar old harpy" on Thursday, after he said the country should "shut up" and "go away".

Around 400 witnesses have already given statements, Mr Basu said, while detectives "have recovered 762 exhibits and are trawling through around 4,000 hours of CCTV". There's no evidence at this stage that his death and the attack on the Skripals are linked, it said.

Russian Federation has also said it is opening a murder probe after Glushkov was found dead at his London home.

Sergey Skripal was a high-ranking Russian security official who was working for the British as a double agent. The Kremlin says the accusation is "unforgivable".

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood reports from Moscow. Russian Federation has a lot more to lose in that exchange.

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