Russia has vowed to retaliate against Britain over the expulsion of 23 of its diplomats saying it’s a sign that London was choosing confrontation with the world’s largest nation.
“The British government made a choice for confrontation with Russia,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
British Prime Minister, Theresa May, had Wednesday expelled the diplomats and suspended high-level contacts with Russia. The expulsion followed Moscow’s failure to respond to a demand for an explanation on how a Soviet-designed nerve agent was used to attack former spy Sergei Skripal on British soil.
May said there was “no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable” for the attack on Skripal and his daughter, who fell ill from exposure to a substance called Novichok in the city of Salisbury on March 4 and are currently in hospital.
The Russian ministry said May’s statement was an “unprecedentedly rude provocation which undermines the foundations of normal bilateral dialogue between our countries.”
It accused London of pursuing a political agenda and choosing to “aggravate relations,” calling the announced measures “hostile”.
“Our response measures will not be tardy,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
Meanwhile, May confirmed that neither members of the royal family nor ministers would attend the football World Cup in Russia this year.