Britain to expel 23 Russian diplomats over attack on ex-spy


May, who also sent the letter to the president of the U.N. Security Council, goes on to say that, "No country except Russian Federation has the combined capability in chemical warfare, intent to weaponize this agent, and motive to target the principal victim".

Britain says Russian Federation is responsible for the poisoning with a Soviet-era "Novichok" nerve agent of Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33. Russian Federation is proposing that a Security Council press statement on the incident should call for an investigation based on provisions of the chemical weapons watchdog.

Moscow has denied responsibility for the attack but has not yet made clear how the Russia-sourced poison could have made its way to Britain.

The US has said it believes Russian Federation is responsible for a high-profile poison attack in Britain, fueling anti-Moscow sentiments in the West over a raft of global issues.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced Wednesday that her government will expel 23 Russian diplomats from Britain and will freeze Russian state assets "wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of United Kingdom nationals or residents".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to set out a range of reprisals against the Russian, who many believe is behind the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33.

In the strongest statement yet from the U.S. administration on the affair, Haley said Washington shared the UK's assessment that the Russian state was behind the poisoning and demanded a firm worldwide response.

Britain, which has received statements of support from the United States, the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, has said it will seek to coordinate an worldwide response to the attack. "We share the United Kingdom's assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation, and note that Russia´s failure to address the legitimate request by the government of the United Kingdom further underlines Russia's responsibility".

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Russian Federation responsible for attack on ex-spy: May
A British inquiry said Putin had probably approved the murder of Litvinenko, though Russian Federation denied any involvement. They remain in critical condition in a hospital in Salisbury, southwestern England, after being found unconscious March 4.

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"Any reference or mention of our President in this regard is a shocking and unforgivable breach of diplomatic rules of decent behaviour", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the agency.

The nerve agent used, Novichok, is a Russian military weapon and strong evidence of Russian government involvement of some kind.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday also decried the attack as "unacceptable" and said nerve gas use has "no place in the civilized world".

Prime Minister Theresa May said it was "highly likely" Moscow was to blame after Britain identified the substance as part of the Novichok group of nerve agents which were developed by the Soviet military during the 1970s and 1980s.

Russian Federation is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

"Thus, Moscow has no doubt that London has launched an anti-Russian campaign..."

May also said Britain would clamp down on murky Russian money and strengthen its powers to impose sanctions on abusers of human rights, though she gave few details.

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