Russia to expel 23 British diplomats in escalating row over spy's poisoning

The Russian Government is to expel 23 British diplomats following a similar decision by the UK in the wake of the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Salisbury last Sunday

The British diplomats will be “expelled within a week”.
The British diplomats will be “expelled within a week”.

As tensions escalate between the UK and Russia, following the nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK last week, Russia announced today it will be expelling 23 British diplomats.

This move comes in response to theUK's decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats earlier this week after Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament the government believed Skripal's poisoning was state-sponsored by Russia.

The Russian foreign ministry released a statement stating that the British diplomats will be “expelled within a week”. 

Double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping precinct in Salisbury last Sunday. The couple had no visible signs of injuries and were immediately sent to the Salisbury District Hospital. They remain in critical condition.

Skripal was one of four Russian sleeper agents that were planted by Moscow in the US. Skripal was also convicted by the Russian government for revealing the identities of Russian agents undercover in Europe to the British Secret Service.

In August 2006, Skripal was accused and convicted of “high treason in the form of espionage” by the Russian government.

In response to the attack, the British Prime Minister Theresa May, expelled 23 Russian diplomats in an effort to crack down on “Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain”. 

More in World