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Russia Expels 23 British Diplomats, Escalating Row Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning

Russia Expels 23 British Diplomats, Escalating Row Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning


The British ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, leaving the Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Saturday.

David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

MOSCOW — Russia on Saturday ordered 23 British diplomats to leave the country within a week, escalating a diplomatic row after a former spy and his daughter were poisoned on British soil.

The order came days after Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain expelled the same number of Russian diplomats and called off high-level contacts between the two governments.

The Russians also ordered the closing of the British Council, a cultural and educational organization in Russia, and revoked permission for the British consulate general in St. Petersburg.

The announcement came after the British ambassador, Laurie Bristow, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Saturday morning.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry cast Russia as the aggrieved party. The statement asserted Russia was acting “in response to the unfounded accusation against the Russian Federation for what happened in Salisbury.”

It added, “The British side is warned that, in the case of further actions of an unfriendly character toward Russia, the Russian side reserves the right to take other answering measures.”

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Apsny News English


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