Moscow will ‘definitely’ expel British diplomats in wake of UK’s reaction to Skripal case – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said Russia will “definitely” expel UK diplomats as a reciprocal measure in the standoff over ex-spy Sergei Skripal’s poisoning. Moscow would act “soon,” he added.

“You do understand that we, as polite people, will first deliver our response to the British counterparts,” Lavrov said, replying to a question by RIA Novosti’s reporter. He noted Moscow prefers not to publicly speak of some “doubts or suspicious” before they are discussed through respective channels. “This is, in my view, is being polite, this is how gentlemen behave,” the minister said.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson claims ‘overwhelming evidence’ Russia was behind Skripal poisoning

Accusing Russia of being “culpable” in the Skripals’ poisoning, UK Prime Minister Theresa May earlier said the UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats, calling them “undeclared intelligence officers.”

The Kremlin also said Moscow will retaliate to the move. A response “won’t take long to see,” Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, told reporters on Thursday. “Proposals [for retaliation] will be worked out by the Foreign Ministry and other agencies, but it is indeed the president who will make the final decision,” Peskov said. He added that the British accusations were “baseless,” and noted that the UK began issuing such statements before any information on the substance used to poison the Skripals surfaced.


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