Spy poisoning: Putin most likely behind attack, says Britain

US UK France Germany blame Russia for nerve-agent attack

US UK France Germany blame Russia for nerve-agent attack

Asked by Reuters at a summit on Syria in the Kazakh capital if Russian Federation planned to expel British diplomats, Lavrov replied: "We will, of course".

In total five entities and 19 individuals, who were named as subjects of an indictment in February, are being slapped with a sanction. There has been much talk in Moscow of imminent and decisive retaliation, but so far nothing of substance has taken place.

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.

While Ryabkov said Moscow did not wish to sever all communications with Washington, he blamed the mounting tensions on "American political stubbornness", and warned that US lawmakers were "playing with fire by destroying Russian-American relationship because simultaneously they shake global stability".

The announcement from Downing Street on Friday comes after Russian Federation ignored a deadline earlier this week to explain whether it was behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4 and instead demanded access to the evidence.

The modus operandi of the attack was similar to the polonium poisoning of another former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, in London in 2006, an attack that is likely to have been approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin according to a United Kingdom inquiry.

Also fuelling the tension between Russia and the West as Putin prepares to win another term in office, is the case of the poisoned Russian ex-spy in England.

Despite Moscow's denial of any involvement in the incident, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that Russian Federation was "highly likely" behind the "attempted murder".

Writing in the Guardian, Mr Corbyn, whose response to the attack has led to criticism from some on his backbenches, said "the evidence points towards Russia" being responsible - but the possibility of gangsters being behind the attack rather than the Kremlin could not be excluded.

Russian Federation denied all the accusations and demanded the British side to provide evidence and threatened to respond to London's ultimatum.

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Accusing the Russian state of the nerve agent attack, Britain is expelling 23 Russian diplomats and is trying to build a coalition of countries to punish Moscow as a result.

Britain, the United States, Germany and France jointly called on Russian Federation on Thursday to explain the attack.

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.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday also accused Britain of violating worldwide law, and said Britain's defence minister "lacks education".

"If they were honest they would answer our questions", he said.

Our message to Russian Federation is the same as the one Gavin Williamson, Britain's Secretary of State for Defense, announced on Thursday: "Go away and shut up!" the President said.

He warned that retaliatory steps would soon follow and President Vladimir Putin would choose the option that "most suits Moscow's interests".

On Thursday, Ryabkov claimed that Russian Federation had never developed anything like the alleged nerve agent, identified by the British as Novichok.

Russian Federation has refused Britain's demands to explain how Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet military, was used to strike down Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, in the southern English city of Salisbury.

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