Russian Federation to expel United Kingdom diplomats as crisis over nerve toxin attack deepens

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"There seems to be no plausible excuse - either the Russian State was behind it or Russia has lost control of its chemical weapons stockpile", she told ABC on Friday.

"The leaders called on Russian Federation "to address all questions related to the attack", and provide a complete disclosure of the Novichok (nerve agent) program to the world chemical weapons watchdog." the statement said.

"The measures are more harsh, but the British deserved them".

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russian Federation had halted all chemical weapons research after joining the Chemical Weapons Convention that came into force in 1997, and completed the destruction of its stockpiles a year ago.

Britain called the emergency meeting to rally support in its standoff with Russian Federation over the attack that British Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen said was "state-sponsored". Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday accused Britain of violating global law and criticized Britain's defense minister for what he called "uneducated" comments about Russian Federation.

Russian Federation announced Saturday it is expelling 23 British diplomats and threatened further retaliatory measures in a growing diplomatic dispute over a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain.

The Department of State said that "Russian occupation authorities have subjected Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians, pro-Ukrainian activists, civil society members, and independent journalists to politically motivated prosecution and ongoing repression, while methodically suppressing nongovernmental organizations and independent media outlets".

It ordered the diplomats to leave within a week.

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And British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Russia targeted Skripal - a former Russian intelligence officer convicted of spying for Britain - to make it clear that those who defy the Russian state deserve to "choke on their own 30 pieces of silver". The Skripals remain in critical condition.

President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 7. Putin's spokesman denounced the claim.

The Russian statement said the government could take further measures if Britain takes any more "unfriendly" moves toward Russia.

"When we are looking to our gas supplies, we are indeed looking to other countries", May told lawmakers.

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".

Russian Federation has insisted it is ready to cooperate in investigating the attack in Salisbury if Britain reciprocates by sharing the evidence it holds. "But London must understand that this will not do anything, it is useless to talk with Russian Federation with such methods", Dzhabarov was quoted as saying by the state news agency RIA Novosti.

Britain is also trying to build a unified Western response, saying the attack in Salisbury is just the latest example of Russia's disregard for worldwide norms on the rule of law.

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