UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a series of measures to be taken against Russia after a former double agent and his daughter were poisoned in the UK.
Sergie Skripal, who is a former Russian intelligence officer, and his daughter Yulia, who was visiting him from Moscow, were poisoned by Novichok, a Russian nerve agent on March 4, 2018 in Salisbury, England.
The United Kingdom believes that the Russian government was behind the attack but Russia insisted it had no motive in the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
After Russia failed to meet Theresa May’s midnight deadline to explain how a nerve agent was used to poison Skripal in the UK, the Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon listing the measures to be taken against Russia.
May started her statement paying tribute to the emergency services and the work they have done in Salisbury. She says Russia was responsible for attempted murder, and the attack on Skripal was an “unlawful use of state force.”
The 61-year-old politician says 23 Russian diplomats in the UK will be expelled in one week as a result. The diplomats to be expelled have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers. This will be the largest expulsion for 30 years.
To protect the UK from hostile state activity, May says the UK government will draw up legislation. She says the government will consider new anti-espionage legislation. She added that the government will increase checks on Russians coming into the country. The Prime Minister says there is “no place” for the corrupt elites in the United Kingdom.
With regards to diplomatic relations, May says high-level contacts with Russia will be canceled. She announced that the invitation to Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, to visit the UK has been withdrawn and UK ministers and dignitaries will not be attending the World Cup taking place in Russia.
May said the UK wanted a better relationship with Russia but it’s tragic that President Putin has acted in the way he did. She mentioned that she has spoken to allies who are backing the UK.
Other measures may be taken but they will not be publicised, May says.