Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Medical | By Bryan Strickland

AGENT ATTACK: Russia poised to strike back at Britain

AGENT ATTACK: Russia poised to strike back at Britain

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Labour conference that "Russian authorities must be held to account on the basis of the evidence" and called for Britain to "stop serving Russian crony capitalism".

It is thought most or all are intelligence officers.

Russia's envoy to London, Alexander Yakovenko, said he had received a diplomatic note informing him that the Skripals were in a critical condition but he also accused Britain of "hiding" further details. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian Federation was "worried by this situation" and would work to express its position on the global stage.

Russian Federation announced Saturday it is expelling 23 British diplomats and threatened further retaliatory measures in a growing diplomatic dispute over a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain.

A United Kingdom inquiry found that two Russian agents poisoned Litvinenko at a London hotel bar in 2006 by spiking his tea with highly radioactive polonium-210, and that Putin "probably approved" Litvinenko's killing.

Lavrov said British accusations of Moscow's involvement are meant to distract public attention from the U.K's troubled exit from the European Union.

"Due to the unregulated status of the British Council in Russian Federation, its activity is halted", the foreign ministry said.

"It threatens the security of us all", the statement said.

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson sparked particular outrage in Moscow with his blunt comment on Thursday that "Russia should go away, it should shut up".

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Skripal had taken his daughter, who was on a visit from Moscow , out for lunch in Salisbury before they both collapsed on a bench. Speaking on Russia-24 television, Zakharova on Saturday linked Britain's angry reaction to the war in Syria.

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"The British side is warned that in case of further unfriendly actions against Russia, the Russian side reserves the right to take further retaliatory measures", the ministry said.

"The reason they've chosen this nerve agent is to show that it's Russian Federation, and to show people in their agencies who might think of defecting or of supporting another way of life, of believing in an alternative set of values, that Russian Federation will take revenge", Johnson told the BBC.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands reports from Moscow, Russia.

The UK Foreign Office said its priority was looking after its staff in Russian Federation and helping those who will return to Britain. The organization has been operating in Russian Federation since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

On Thursday May visited Salisbury, meeting police and medics and viewing the site where the Skripals were found critically ill.

Western powers see the nerve-agent attack as the latest sign of alleged Russian meddling overseas.

Moscow has rejected a British ultimatum to explain why a Soviet-developed toxin was allegedly used to poison a former Russian spy on British soil, until the United Kingdom hands over samples of the nerve agent.

Haley said Russian Federation "must account for its actions" as a permanent council member entrusted by the United Nations with upholding worldwide peace and security.

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