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Russian Diplomats Prepare To Leave UK

Russian diplomats and their families are preparing to leave the UK after being expelled over the Salisbury spy attack. Removal vans and diplomatic cars have been leaving the embassy in London. The UK expelled 23 diplomats after Prime Minister Theresa May said Russia was "culpable" for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

 

Later today, Tuesday, the UK Government will decide whether to impose further sanctions on Russia. Mrs May will chair a meeting of the National Security Council. Moscow has denied all involvement, and is expelling 23 British diplomats in response. According to the BBC's diplomatic correspondent James Robbins, the Russian Embassy said around 80 people including Russian diplomats and their families will leave London today.

 

A small crowd gathered outside the embassy and waved goodbye to people carrying suitcases, children and pets as they boarded vehicles.  It comes as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the UK must still deal with Russia despite "all fingers" pointing to it over the Salisbury spy attack. He said he would "do business" with Russian President Vladimir Putin but assertively and on the basis of the UK's values. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson previously said it is "overwhelmingly likely" that President Putin ordered the nerve agent attack. 

 

Russia said the accusations were "shocking and unforgivable". Russian former military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, remain critically ill in hospital after being found slumped on a bench and unconscious on 4 March. They had been exposed to a nerve agent of a type developed by Russia called Novichok, the UK Government claims. Meanwhile, the head of counter-terrorism policing in the UK, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, said the focus of the Salisbury investigation is "on the movements of the Skripals". 

Photo Credit: 
guardian.ng

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