- Thomson Reuters
- The Russian government will expel 23 UK diplomats.
- The move mirrors the UK government’s decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats from the UK, in the wake of the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal.
LONDON – The Russian government will expel 23 British diplomats, news agencies reported, amid political tensions sparked by the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
The British Council in Russia, which “international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities,” will also be shut down.
The move mirrors the UK government’s decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats from the UK, blaming the country for authorising the use of a toxic nerve agent against the Skripals in Salisbury.
Earlier on Saturday Russia’s foreign ministry summoned Britain’s ambassador to the country, Laurie Bristow, for a meeting, as diplomatic relations continue to sour.
Russia’s Defence Ministry called UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson a “vulgar old harpy” on Thursday, after he said the country should “shut up” and “go away.”
On Friday, London’s Metropolitan Police said a Russian exile opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin who was found dead in London was murdered.
Nikolai Glushkov, 69, was found dead at his house in southwest London at about 10:46 p.m. on Monday. A subsequent pathologist report found that Glushkov died by a “compression to the neck,” the police said.
Glushkov was best known for being a close associate of the Russian oligarch and prominent Putin critic Boris Berezovsky, who was found dead on the bathroom floor of his ex-wife’s house in Ascot, southeast England, in 2013.