Russian Federation chides United Kingdom for blaming Putin for poisoning

US UK France Germany blame Russia for nerve-agent attack

As the worldwide scandal gathers pace, Skripal and his daughter remain in critical condition after exposure to the Soviet-designed chemical Novichok on March 4 in the southwestern English city of Salisbury.

The Kremlin has denounced British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson's claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the poisoning of an ex-spy as "shocking and inexcusable".

"Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin, and with his decision, and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of Britain, on the streets of Europe, for the first time since World War II", the foreign secretary said.

"That is why we are at odds with Russian Federation".

Russia will expel British diplomats stationed within the country in a retaliatory move for British Prime Minister Theresa May announcing she would expel 23 Russians from her country following an apparent assassination attempt on a former Russian intelligence officer living in the United Kingdom.

Russian Federation has already been accused of being involved in the attack, and Mr Johnson has now taken the allegations further put pointing the finger at Putin.

Soon after Johnson's comments were reported, the Kremlin said accusations that President Putin was involved in the nerve agent attack were shocking, TASS news agency reported.

In its response however, Russian Federation has called the allegations "shocking and unforgivable" and a breach of diplomatic rules of decent behaviour.

May told lawmakers on Wednesday that Russia's sarcasm, contempt and defiance in the face of allegations that it was behind the use of a military-grade nerve agent in the sleepy city of Salisbury added to the evidence that it was to blame.

The sanctions prompted a swift threat of retaliation from the Russian government.

Britain has accused Russian Federation of staging the attack with the Soviet-designed Novichok nerve agent, accusations Moscow has denied.

Britain has written to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, which monitors compliance with the global convention outlawing the use of such weapons, to obtain independent verification of the substance used.

Corbyn added that Labour did not support Putin and that Russian Federation should be held to account if it was behind the attack.

"Russia should shut up and go away", Williamson said.

Meanwhile, British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said Moscow had made a "deliberate political decision" to poison Skripal.

An 83-year-old Russian whistleblower who helped develop Novichok told the AP on Friday that no other country could have used that particular nerve agent to poison a former spy.

Putin's spokesman branded the allegations "shocking and unforgivable" as Russian Federation continues to deny any involvement in the UK. He was granted refuge in the UK after a high-profile spy exchange between the United States and Russian Federation in 2010.

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