Boris Johnson urges 'all responsible nations' to support United Kingdom stand against Russian Federation

Kremlin rejects'unfounded accusations, ultimatums over poisoning row

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused London of behaving in a "boorish" way and suggested this was partly because of problems Britain faces over its planned exit from the European Union next year.

Peskov said the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia "doesn't affect" the campaign for Sunday's election, which he called Russia's top priority.

Hours after Russian Federation on Saturday announced that 23 British diplomats would be expelled, Konstantin Kosachev told The Associated Press "this is not our choice, definitely. It threatens the security of us all". It is an assault on United Kingdom sovereignty and any such use by a State party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of worldwide law. After chemical weapons were destroyed in Russian Federation [which was confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2017], its development continued in the United Kingdom itself as well as in the Czech Republic and Sweden.

Russian Federation has called the charges "groundless accusations" and says British authorities have refused to provide samples of the nerve agent used.

They said there was "no plausible alternative explanation" for the use of the Soviet-designed nerve agent other than Russian responsibility.

UK-Russia relations have been fractious ever since the assassination of another former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, in 2006. The pair have been gravely ill in hospital since.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who was part of the initial police response, is in a serious but stable condition.

"In his campaign rally in Crimea today, President Putin reiterated Russia's false claims to Ukrainian territory in another open admission that the Russian government disdains the worldwide order and disrespects the territorial integrity of sovereign nations", Nauert said.

The Kremlin, Moscow, Jan. 6, 2017. Mirzayanov said he revealed the existence of Novichok because he thought it was necessary to deprive Russian Federation of its "deadly secret".

EMBARRASSING footage shows Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov taking a tumble in front of an audience in Moscow today.

The sanctions also affect the Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, and six of its employees for cyberattacks more broadly, including those targeting Russian journalists, opposition figures, foreign politicians and US officials.

A Russian lawmaker blamed Britain Saturday for the escalating tensions.

May on Thursday visited Salisbury, a normally sedate city where police investigators in chemical protection suits and the army have been collecting evidence of the poisoning. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg followed that up Friday by saying that the incident reflected a Russian "pattern of reckless behavior" that includes cyberattacks and election meddling.

In comments to reporters after he left the Foreign Ministry, Bristow said the crisis had arisen because of "the attempted murder of two people using a chemical weapon developed in Russian Federation and not declared by Russian Federation".

The Russian embassy said it had formally demanded Britain allow a joint investigation, saying "without that, there can be no sense in any statements from London".

"This is a government that is violating all the standard norms and worldwide rules and laws to bring violence onto other nations' soil to reach their objectives".

Writing in the Washington Post, Mr Johnson also said the poison used in the Salisbury spy attack was specifically chosen to send a message to political dissenters challenging Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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