Britain says its priority is looking after staff in Russian Federation

The spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov

The spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov Maxim Zmeyev Reuters

The measures come amid fallout over an attack on a former double agent and his daughter in southern England.

On March 4 spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are found unconscious, slumped on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury. They remain in critical condition and a policeman who visited their home is in serious condition.

Speaking to the Russian state-funded RT television network, the ambassador denounced Britain's decision to expel 23 diplomats as "unacceptable and unjustified".

"When you have a nerve agent or whatever, you check it against certain samples that you retain in your laboratories", he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the United Kingdom will consider adequate steps alongside its allies after Russian Federation had earlier said that it would expel 23 British diplomats.

Relations between London and Moscow have crashed to a post-Cold War low over the Salisbury attack, the first known offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War II.

The recent developments in the U.S. and Britain seem quite coordinated and organized, suggesting that the West is likely to foment a "new Cold War" that targets Iran and Russian Federation.

Moscow rejects the claims as "provocation".

"We have no disagreement with the people of Russian Federation and we continue to believe it is not in our national interest to break off all dialogue between our countries". France and Germany make similar statements the following day.

The response comes amid a deterioration of London-Moscow relations over the consequent British punitive measures against Russia and the former Russian spy attack row.

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Skripal was one of four Russian sleeper agents that were planted by Moscow in the US. Putin said that his government is not liable for the millions of Russians living across the world suggesting that the election meddlers may not even be Russian.

The announcement came after the British ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, was summoned to the foreign ministry in Moscow.

On Saturday, Russia's envoy to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shigulin alleged to the news agency Interfax the "most likely" source of the nerve agent was Britain or the United States.

"Where people have obtained wealth by corruption and where we can see a link with the Kremlin, with Vladimir Putin, it may be possible to have unexplained wealth orders and other sanctions on those individuals", Johnson said. The Kremlin says the accusation is "unforgivable".

Top EU diplomats were expected to discuss next steps at a meeting Monday, with some calling for a boycott of the upcoming World Cup in Russian Federation.

The murder is not believed to be linked to the attack on the Skripals.

What is worth noting here is that there are two words in Russian for what English speakers call "Russians": Russki means belonging to the Russian people and Russic, which translates as Russian citizens who may not be Russians.

On Friday, police said they were treating the March 12 death of exiled businessman Nikolai Glushkov as murder after a post-mortem found he died from "compression to the neck".

Moscow also chose to close the British Council in Russian Federation and to withdraw permission for Britain to open a general consulate in St Petersburg, the ministry said in a statement.

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