Russian Federation expels 23 British diplomats as crisis deepens

Russian Federation expels 23 British diplomats as crisis deepens

On Saturday, Moscow announced it would expel 23 British diplomats in retaliation and close the British Council and Britain's consulate-general in St Petersburg.

It also cooperated with the Russian Interior Ministry to rule out the double reporting of those who permanently reside overseas being registered in Russia.

The Russian ministry also warned Britain that it "retains the right to take other answering measures" in response to any "further unfriendly actions".

Moscow also said it would halt the activities of the British Council in Russian Federation in a tough series of retaliatory measures announced after it summoned British ambassador Laurie Bristow.

British Prime Minister Theresa May this week expelled 23 Russian diplomats and severed high-level bilateral contacts over the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

At the same time, Putin, who won another six-year term in Sunday's election, said that Moscow is open for taking part in the probe together with Britain.

Western powers see the poisoning of the Skripals as the latest sign of increasingly aggressive Russian interference in foreign countries. With few election-related events to report on, Russians are seeing more news of the country's diplomatic crises with the UK and United States.

Chemical weapons experts will travel to Britain on Monday to begin an worldwide investigation into the Salisbury poisoning.

The poisoning, which is being investigated as attempted murder by authorities, has plunged Britain and Russian Federation into a political crisis.

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"It's quite obvious that if it were a military-grade nerve agent, people would have died on the spot", he said.

Speaking to BBC, Vladimir Chizhov said there were "no stockpiles whatsoever" of nerve agents left in Russian Federation, adding that his country had stopped producing chemical weapons in 1992.

Yevgeny Roizman, the mayor of Russia's fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg, told rhe Associated Press that local officials and state employees have all received orders "from higher up" to make sure the presidential vote turnout is over 60%.

In a tweet today, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom rejected a Russian suggestion that the nerve agent came from her country.

Chizhov was then asked if he thought Porton Down scientists were responsible for producing the nerve agent used in the attack.

Navalny himself tweeted a link to a video showing ballot stuffing in a polling station in Russia's far east. They were found unconscious on a bench near a shopping center in Salisbury.

New tensions have also surfaced over the death Monday of a London-based Russian businessman, Nikolai Glushkov.

Russian Federation also suspects foul play in Glushkov's death and opened its own inquiry Friday.

British police said there is no apparent link between the attack on Glushkov and the poisoning of the Skripals, but both have raised alarm in the West at a time when Russian Federation is increasingly assertive on the global stage and facing investigations over alleged interference in the Donald Trump's election as US president.