North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expels seven Russian diplomats over United Kingdom spy poisoning

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz

On Monday, the US, Germany, Canada and a number of other nations expelled a scores of Moscow diplomats, a move Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described as "blackmail". The US move came despite Trump's previous promise to improve relations with Moscow.

More than 130 people are suspected of having been exposed to the nerve agent used in the attack, a military-grade chemical weapon known as Novichok, which was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.

Theresa May hailed the "unprecedented series of expulsions" of Russian diplomats across the globe following the assassination attempt against Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia earlier this month.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today accused Washington of applying "colossal pressure" to achieve the massive, coordinated global response to the poisoning.

Moscow has fiercely denied any involvement in his attempted murder, instead pointing the finger at London. "We'll respond, have no doubt".

"The attack in Salisbury was not just an attack against the United Kingdom but an affront to the global rules-based system on which we all depend for our security and wellbeing", Ireland's Foreign Ministry said.

"Yesterday was a significant moment in our response to this reckless act of aggression, but there is still more to be done as we work with global partners on a long-term response to the challenge posed by Russian Federation", her spokesman said, reporting remarks made by May at a cabinet meeting.

They were found on March 4 unconscious on a public bench in the city and a British court says they may have suffered permanent brain damage in the attack.

"So political reforms in Russian Federation as a counterpart for economic cooperation which we have to offer", he said. British officials have placed the blame squarely on Russian Federation, a charge President Vladimir Putin adamantly denies. They remain in critical condition.

Britain has emphasized that the attack took place in the context of "reckless behavior" by Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the annexation of Crimea.

The major success comes after a major 10 day diplomatic offensive to lobby allies by the PM, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and National Security Advisor Sir Mark Sedwill.

British officials say Russian Federation has sought to divert attention by putting out more than a dozen explanations for the attack, the first using a nerve agent in Europe since World War II.

It is also closing the Russian consulate in Seattle.

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