Britain To Expel 23 Russian Diplomats In Wake Of Spy Poisoning

Britain To Expel 23 Russian Diplomats In Wake Of Spy PoisoningTwenty-three Russian diplomats will be expelled from the U.K. after Russia failed to meet a midnight deadline to disclose details of the nerve agent that is suspected to have been used to poison a former spy on British soil. Speaking in the British Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May said Russia offered β€œcomplete disdain” for the request and treated it with β€œsarcasm, contempt, and defiance.” May said she now considers the attempted murders as an β€œunlawful use of force” against Britain from the Russian state, and said 23 diplomatsβ€”whom Britain has identified as β€œundeclared intelligence officers”—must now leave the U.K. within a week. She added that all high-level diplomacy between the U.K. and Russia will be suspended, including a boycott of the upcoming soccer World Cup by government ministers and the royal family. The Russian Embassy in London responded: β€œWe consider this hostile action as totally unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted. All the responsibility for the deterioration of the Russia-U.K. relationship lies with the current political leadership of Britain.” Meanwhile, NATO announced that all members have urged Russia to answer the U.K.’s questions about its nerve-agent program, and called the attack on Skripal β€œthe first offensive use of a nerve agent on Alliance territory since NATO’s foundation.”