A response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has decided to expel 23 Russian diplomats and cancel high-level contracts after someone poisoned an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in England.
From The Guardian:
May says high-level contacts with Russia will be cancelled. The invitation to Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, to visit the UK has been withdrawn. And ministers and dignitaries will not be attending the World Cup.
May says other measures may be taken which will not be publicised.
The Guardian also reported that the expulsion is the largest in 39 years and those leaving are undeclared intelligence officers.
The government will also draft “legislation to protect the UK from hostile state activity” and “new anti-espionage legislation.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke after May, but did not condemn Russia and pushed the government to work with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. His remarks appeared doubtful that Russia did any of this, even though there are FOURTEEN other cases of dead exiled Russians in the UK in the past 20 years.
Labour’s Yvette Cooper disagreed with her leader and told Parliament “what Russia did must be met with ‘unequivocal condemnation.'” This brought many cheers from the Members of Parliament. May thanks Cooper for her comment as she knows that these “views are shared by many Labour MPs.”
The UK demanded a meeting of the UN Security Council over the attack. EU and NATO also showed support. From The Financial Times:
Separately, the president of the EU council, Donald Tusk, said that he was “ready to put the issue on next week’s [European Council] agenda.” Mr Tusk expressed his “full solidarity” with Mrs May in the face of a “brutal attack inspired, most likely, by Moscow.”
Nato also expressed “deep concern at the first offensive use of a nerve agent on alliance territory” since its foundation in 1949 and called on Russia for “complete disclose” of the Novichok family of nerve agents that the UK said was used in the attack.
On Monday, May told Parliament that the government concluded the nerve agent used to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia “highly likely” came from Russia.
May gave Russia an opportunity to explain itself. She warned the country that the UK would take this action if no officials could provide them with a “credible response.”DONATE
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