Moscow will expel British diplomats – Russian FM Lavrov

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday Russia will expel British diplomats in response to London’s decision to expel 23 staff at the Russian embassy in London.

Asked by a Reuters reporter, at a summit on Syria in the Kazakh capital, if Russia planned to expel British diplomats, Lavrov replied: “We will, of course.” He did not give any further details.

London says the Russian state is responsible for trying to kill Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain’s MI6, with Novichok, a lethal nerve agent developed by the former Soviet military.

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, visits Salisbury city center where Russian Sergei Skripal was attacked with a deadly substance and remains in hospital alongside his daughter Yulia, Salisbury, UK, March 15, 2018. /VCG Photo

Russia denied any involvement and Foreign Minister Lavrov accused London of behaving in a “boorish” way.

Responding to the recent intense relations between Russia and the UK, China hopes that both sides can properly resolve the disputes through dialogue and communication on the basis of mutual respect and equal consultation and proceed from the true merits of the case and strictly observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on Thursday.

Britain’s allies gave verbal support to British Prime Minister Theresa May. The White House said it shared Britain’s assessment that Russia was responsible and supported the decision to expel Russian diplomats.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the attack in Britain was part of a pattern of reckless behavior from Russia over many years. He said Britain could count on NATO’s solidarity, but said there had been no request by London to activate the alliance’s mutual defense clause.

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