23 Russian diplomats were expelled in connection with attempted ex-spy murder

Posted by Imam Larh on Thursday, 15 March 2018

The British government will expel 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation for a nerve gas attack against a former Russian agent in the British territory.

In announcing the decision in parliament Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May said that 23 diplomats had to leave England within a week.
Diplomats identified as 'intelligence apparatus' are not officially declared.

Former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia, 33, are still in critical condition after being found helpless on a bench in Salisbury on March 4.

Russia has denied involvement in the Skripal assassination attempt and the Russian Embassy in London declared the expulsion of 23 diplomats 'unacceptable, unjustified and short-minded'.

The Moscow government refused to meet the deadline set by PM May to cooperate in dismantling the case, which sparked a number of steps in order to convey a 'clear message' to Russia.

The steps announced by PM May include:
  1. Expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats within one week.
  2. Tightening of inspection of private flights, excise, and goods.
  3. Freezing of Russian state assets if any evidence may be used to threaten the lives or property of British citizens or residents living in the UK.
  4. The ministers and royal families boycotted the 2018 World Cup held in Russia next summer.
  5. Delay all plans for a high-level bilateral meeting between Britain and Russia.
To MPs, Prime Minister May said that Russia 'did not explain' about how nerve gas came in and used in Britain by calling Russia's response to 'sarcasm, humiliation, and opposition'.

He added that the use of Russian-made nerve gas in the UK region is classified as 'unlawful use of force'

After an explanation from the intelligence chiefs in his office, Downing Street, PM May mentioned 'no conclusion other than the guilty Russian state' in an attempt to kill Skripal and his daughter.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey who came to the scene was also seriously ill but in a stable state and is now in a better condition

Police and soldiers had closed down an area in Gillingham, Dorset -Western England-where the truck was being used to pick up Skripal cars, as part of the investigation.

While Zizzi's restaurant and Bishop's Mill pub, which Skripal and his daughter had visited before suffering ill, were still closed.

(BBC)

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