The Russian foreign ministry has expressed a protest to the UK Ambassador to Russia over London’s provocative actions inspiring the expulsion of over 150 Russian diplomats from more than 20 countries.
UK authorities have one month to reduce the number of staff at its embassy and consulate in Russia to that of Russia’s diplomatic presence in the United Kingdom, according to the statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian Embassy in London said that UK authorities are aware of what number the Russian Foreign Ministry was talking about without disclosing the exact figure.
The statement also said that British ambassador to Moscow Laurie Bristow was summoned to the foreign ministry building and given a note of protest. The ministry added that Russia remained ready to cooperate with the United Kingdom on the investigation into the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal either within the international legal framework or o the bilateral level.
The UK Foreign Office, in turn, expressed the regret over Moscow’s steps but said that they had been anticipated.
“This doesn’t change the facts of the matter: the attempted assassination of two people on British soil, for which there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable. Russia is in flagrant breach of international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention and actions by countries around the world have demonstrated the depth of international concern,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.