UK Expels 23 Russian Diplomats, Freezes Russian Assets, Suspends High-Level Contacts
As previewed earlier, Theresa May announced that Britain will expel 23 Russian diplomats who are “undeclared intelligence officers”, i.e., spies. The retaliation comes as part of a range of measures in response to the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal.
Speaking to parliament, Theresa May said the Russian state was culpable in the nerve agent attack in Salisbury on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and is the reason for the expulsion of 23 diplomats: “All who been identified as undeclared intelligence officers. They have just one week to leave,” she said.
“This will be the single biggest expulsion for over 30 years and it will reflect the fact that this is not the first time the Russian state has acted against our country” she added.
She says Russia’s response “has shown complete disdain” and the country has offered no explanation for the Russian-made novichok nerve agent used in the attack. The PM says the matter has been treated with “sarcasm, contempt and defiance”….