Russia has said it would expel 23 British diplomats and shutdown a British consulate.
The action is in response to Britain’s allegation that it masterminded the nerve-agent attack on a Russian ex-spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, U.K.
“Twenty three diplomatic staff at the British embassy in Moscow are declared persona non grata and to be expelled within a week,” Russian news agency Interfax quoted a Russian foreign ministry statement as saying.
“Due to the unregulated status of the British Council in Russia, its activity is halted,” the foreign ministry said.
“The measures are more harsh, but the British deserved them. And I don’t rule out that something else could follow,” first deputy head of the Russian Senate’s foreign affairs committee Vladimir Dzhabarov.
Prior to Russia’s response, the British Government had expelled 23 Russian diplomats it called “undeclared agents”. Moreover, Britain said it would boycott the Football World Cup holding in Russia.
British PM, Theresa May has insisted that Russia masterminded the attack. She has attracted supports from France, Germany and the U.S.
But the Kremlin insists it didn’t mastermind the attack.
Russia and Europe have had an uneasy relationship, starting with the former’s role in the protracted Syrian conflict and backing of President Bashar Al-Asad.