Russian Federation summons British ambassador


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. Tensions are running high and the last thing a fractious world needs is another Cold War.

The crisis erupted after Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to a Soviet-designed nerve agent on March 4 in the English city of Salisbury, leaving them in critical condition.

Still, tensions keep rising, and Britain keeps doubling down. "And I don't rule out that something else could follow", first deputy head of the Russian Senate's foreign affairs committee Vladimir Dzhabarov told Interfax news agency.

Kremlin spokesman Peskov said the decision about how to retaliate would come from Putin, "and there is no doubt that he will choose the option that best reflects Russian interests".

Gentiloni, who spoke to May on Friday morning, said the British authorities had Italy's complete solidarity, according to Ansa, which cited government sources.

In response to the attack, Britain has given 23 Russians who it said were spies working under diplomatic cover at the London embassy a week to leave.

Skripal was one of four Russian sleeper agents that were planted by Moscow in the US.

Lavrov said Moscow had stopped paying attention to Britain over the spy poisoning allegations.

The Kremlin, Moscow, Jan. 6, 2017.

British police said there is no apparent link between the attack on Glushkov and the poisoning of the Skripals, but both have raised alarm in the West at a time when Russian Federation is increasingly assertive on the global stage and facing investigations over alleged interference in the Donald Trump's election as US president.

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Escalating a crisis in relations, Russian Federation said on Saturday it was also shutting down the activities of the British Council, which fosters cultural links between the two countries, and Britain's consulate-general in St. Petersburg.

"In light of their previous behaviour we anticipated a response of this kind and we will consider our next steps in the coming days alongside our allies and partners". May seeks a global coalition of countries to punish Moscow.

On March 15 Britain, France, Germany and the USA say in a rare joint declaration that "there is no plausible alternative explanation" to Russian involvement and call on Moscow to provide "full and complete disclosure" of the Soviet-era chemical programme that developed Novichok.

European Union leaders are to discuss the incident at a Brussels summit next week and it is also on the agenda for talks on Monday between Johnson, his European Union counterparts and Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

In a separate action, the Trump administration issued sanctions on a number of Russian entities for a wide range of behavior, including attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. He has already been in power 18 years and could stay until 2024.

The unidentified mom was allegedly furious that her son was about to marry into the family of Sergei Skripal - whom she considered a traitor for spying on the Russian government.

Skripal, his daughter Yulia, and a police officer remain hospitalized.

Russian Federation has said is open to cooperation with Britain, but has refused Britain's demands to explain how Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet military, was used against the Skripals. Russian Federation has asked to be allowed to examine the evidence and claims that so far it has not been allowed to do so.

Yulia Skripal flew to London from Russian Federation on March 3, according to counter-terrorism police.

The US says it stands "in solidarity" with Britain.