Russian Federation expels British diplomats

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Britain's Allies 'Abhor' Nerve-Agent Attack On Russian Ex-Spy

They remain in critical condition.

Russia's government is expelling 23 British diplomats and threatening further measures in retaliation in a growing diplomatic dispute over a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain. It also said in a statement yesterday that it is ordering the closure of the British Council, a government-backed organization for cultural and scientific cooperation, and that it is ending an agreement to reopen the British consulate in St. Petersburg.

Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, spoke on Saturday after Russia ordered 23 British diplomats to leave the country and that the British Council in Russia to be closed.

United Kingdom evidence of Russian responsibility for the Salisbury poisoning makes it clear there is "no other plausible explanation" for the incident, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement Thursday.

The British ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow was this morning summoned to the Kremlin for the second time this week to be told of the retaliatory action taken by Russian authorities.

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The four-nation statement is the fruit of British efforts to enlist worldwide support as it tries to hold Russia accountable for the March 4 attack that left the former Russian agent and his daughter in critical condition and a British police officer seriously ill. Lavrov said that Russian Federation "has stopped paying attention" to allegations against them, suggesting it is a violation of global law that May is now refusing to work with Russian Federation.

Russian Federation has complained that Britain has failed to provide any evidence of its involvement in the Salisbury attack and has said it is shocked and bemused by the allegations.

May announced the measures after Moscow ignored a midnight deadline to explain how a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used against Sergei and Yulia Skripal. British Prime Minister Theresa May was briefed by police chiefs at the scene of the attack, saying the diplomatic expulsions in Moscow change nothing.

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

In their 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.

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