Britain, Russia trade blame over poisoning of former spy

Salisbury incident

Salisbury incident

Former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal attends a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow on August 9, 2006.Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent whose mysterious collapse in England sparked concerns of a possible poisoning by Moscow, has been living in Britain since a high-profile spy swap in 2010.

Former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia may have been exposed to a deadly nerve agent through his car's ventilation system, U.S. media has reported. He said that Britain had expelled the Russian diplomats after Moscow had failed to explain how the nerve toxin had got to Britain.

British ambassador Laurie Bristow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry to be informed of Russia's decision.

The U.K. foreign office dismissed Chizhov's comments as "nonsense", and said Russian Federation was trying to "divert the story away from the facts - that Russian Federation has acted in flagrant breach of its global obligations", according to the BBC.

"We will always do what is necessary to defend ourselves", the ambassador told reporters. Both remain in critical condition.

Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the use of the military grade nerve agent on British soil, before announcing that 23 Russian diplomats would be expelled from the UK.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was giving the 23 British diplomats one week to leave the country.

The first use of a nerve agent on European soil since World War II is a direct challenge to the Western alliance, days before elections are nearly certain to give Vladimir Putin a fourth term as Russia's president.

AIIMS doctors killed, 4 injured in accident on Yamuna Expressway near Mathura
In the mishap, three AIIMS doctors were killed while four persons were critically injured. They were going for birthday celebrations of one of these doctors who is a senior.

Theresa May said the United Kingdom government would consider its next steps "in the coming days, alongside our allies and partners".

Russian Federation offered some cooperation to British authorities after the 2006 London murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko too.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told the broadcaster: "It's just another futile attempt from the Russian state to divert the story away from the facts - that Russia has acted in flagrant breach of its worldwide obligations".

Russian Federation denies involvement and warned for days that it would reply to the UK's expulsion of 40% of its diplomats in London.

Russia's response is "moderate, expected and appropriate", said Oleg Morozov, a former senior Kremlin official who now sits on the foreign affairs committee of the upper house of parliament.

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.

Ms Bishop said Australia supports a thorough investigation into the poisoning of the Skripals.

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