UK's Prime Minister slams Russian plan to expel diplomats

UK's Prime Minister slams Russian plan to expel diplomats

British Prime Minister Theresa May this week expelled 23 Russian diplomats and severed high-level bilateral contacts over the March 4 poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

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

Russian Federation destroyed all of its stockpiles a year ago, he added.

However, British PM Theresa May says it "doesn't change the facts of the matter" of the poisoning.

Putin's comments came a few hours after British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he has evidence that Russian Federation has been stockpiling a nerve agent in violation of worldwide law "very likely for the purposes of assassination".

"And it's actually only eight miles from Salisbury".

"That is exactly the tactics we've come to expect from Russian Federation over the last few years", he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. The incident also saw a British police officer injured seriously.

He said the reaction across the Government, Parliament and the wider country had been "hugely encouraging" but he hit out at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who came under fire on Wednesday after failing to offer explicit support for the Prime Minister's approach in the House of Commons. Tests to independently verify the British findings are expected to take at least two weeks, Britain's Foreign Office said.

The Russian foreign ministry's expulsions had been anticipated.

Russian Federation insists it had no motive to target Skripal with what Britain says was a highly-potent nerve agent called Novichok, in the first such attack in Europe since World War II.

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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described Chizhov's claims as "satirical".

Johnson dismissed those claims and said Russia's reaction "was not the response of a country that really believes itself to be innocent".

Also speaking to the BBC, Johnson said experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will arrive in the United Kingdom on Monday to carry out tests on the samples of the nerve agent used in Salisbury. It further states, "The British side has been warned that if more unfriendly actions against Russia follow, the Russian side reserves the right of taking other retaliation measures".

Mr Johnson also claimed that in the last decade Russian Federation has "investigated ways of delivering nerve agents likely for assassination".

He said "they have been producing and stockpiling Novichok, contrary to what they have been saying".

Russia's election monitors reported irregularities at voting stations across country, even though authorities were under orders to ensure that the voting was free and fair after violations marred Putin's last election in 2012.

The spy dispute has sent U.K. -Russia relations to Cold War-levels of tension.

The incident has drawn comparisons to the fate of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after drinking radioactive tea.

Russian Federation denies involvement and warned for days that it would respond to the U.K.'s expulsion of 40 percent of its diplomats in London.

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