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London expels 23 Russian diplomats in a hard escalation of tension

Theresa May suspends all high-level contact with Moscow for the case of the poisoned ex-spy

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London expels 23 Russian diplomats in a hard escalation of tension

The Government of London decreed on Wednesday expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and suspension of any high-level contact with Moscow in retaliation for attempt to assassinate spy Sergey Skripal's nerve gas on British soil. In a statement whose tone emulated times of Cold War, Theresa May interpreted Kremlin's refusal to render explanations as evidence of "illegal use of Russian state's force against United Kingdom." The boycott, diplomatic for now, also affects football World Cup organized by Russia.

"We see no alternative conclusion to that Russian state is guilty of assassination attempt" by Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, British Prime Minister highlighted this Wednesday in detailing a comprehensive and unpublished package of sanctions against Administration of Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Theresa May made her announcement in British parliament a few hours after ultimatum fixed by herself in previous midnight, confronting Kremlin to explain if terrible event occurred in south of England, in Salisbury, and executed With a neurotoxic agent, it was result of direct action by Government of Moscow or outcome of a loss of control over its arsenals of chemical weapons. In absence of answers by Russian side, London reaction was overwhelming.

More information
  • Found dead Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov in his house in London
  • "Suddenly it's like living in a spy novel"
  • May ensures that Russia is "very likely" responsible for poisoning of ex-spy

May ordered 23 "alleged spies" working on Russian legation in London under diplomatic cover to leave country within a week, in response to "sarcasm, disdain and challenger mood" wielded by Russian authorities. The measures of force rubricadas by British government also include additional controls on flights of Russian private apparatuses, freezing of Russian state investments in United Kingdom considered "suspicious" and cancellation of any Official exchange of bilateral character including annulment of attendance of Dukes of Cambridge, and or ministers of British Government, to World Cup of next summer which has Russia as host. For Kremlin, after expulsion of its athletes from Winter Games in South Korea, this event is much more than a sports appointment.

London calls for UN support

Agencies

The United Kingdom requested on Wednesday support of UN Security Council, which met in an emergency session. "It was a reckless and indiscriminate act that put lives of civilians at risk," said British Ambassador Jonathan Allen before meeting began. Russia's lack of answers, he said, left British government "with no choice but to conclude that it was a state-sponsored act."

Waiting for Moscow

In addition, British authorities shall carry out additional inspections on flights of private apparatus deemed to be subject to review for security reasons, an understatement pointing to large colony of Russian oligarchs installed on islands British in recent decades, both President Putin's partners — whose main exponent is Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea English football club — as opponents who once fled Kremlin's claws, such as oligarch Boris Berezovsky, He died five years ago since his British exile and in strange circumstances.

Russian retaliation will not be expected. The Russian ambassador in United Kingdom, Alexander Yakovenko, said in an interview on Sky News that "re will be expulsions. As you'll understand in diplomatic practice, re will be a response from Russian side. " Pending that decision, spokesman for Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, opted for mockery and accused London of being a money laundering centre for Russian criminals. On a television show, Zakharova asked, "Do you know how many Russians we are expecting from London after corresponding official request? More than 40, including some who have not only laundered money, but also serial killers ", who have been welcomed by United Kingdom and who have even received asylum, he emphasized. "And now we are told that those people who are totally out of law are not going to be welcome," he said.

The crisis in bilateral relations of London and Moscow is going to be inevitable protagonist in presidential elections of next Sunday in Russia, where a character like double spy Sergey Skripal, who is dying with his daughter in an English hospital, is Portrayed in his morland as a "traitor" who deserves worst of outcome.

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