Russia will 'of course' expel British diplomats after UK move: Lavrov

Russia will 'of course' expel British diplomats after UK move: Lavrov

Britain's foreign minister increased pressure on Russian Federation over the poisoning case of one of Moscow's ex-spies by claiming it was "overwhelmingly likely" President Vladimir Putin directly ordered the attack.

Vil Mirzayanov, a Soviet-era chemist who helped create Novichok but later revealed the existence of Moscow's classified programme, said terrorists could not produce it.

May warned more measures could follow against Russian Federation, noting that the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and the UN Security Council had discussed the attack, while it was also expected to be on the agenda at a European Union summit next week.

But unlike when the United States and European Union imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea, May did not name Russian people or companies that would be specifically targeted by sanctions.

A USA government alert to industry says the hackers deleted activity logs to try to cover their tracks. The U.S. officials the energy industry targets were chosen deliberately.

Many Russians remain sceptical that the state was involved in the attack and some analysts didn't rule out the involvement of ordinary criminals or rogue agents.

It also said the hackers exploited open-source material from companies' public websites to mine seemingly innocuous information that was later used to infiltrate networks.

Trump - who's often faulted by American lawmakers over his reluctance to criticize Putin even when other in his administration do - joined in the condemnation Thursday.

The United States has imposed sanctions on 19 Russians over their alleged cyber attacks and interference in the 2016 USA election; while Britain, the United States, Germany and France have jointly called for an explanation of the nerve toxin attack on a former Russian double agent in the UK.

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.

May has directly accused President Vladimir Putin of being behind the attack.

Linking Putin to the attack on Sergei Skripal, who moved to Britain in a 2010 spy swap, "is nothing but shocking and unforgivable behaviour from the point of view of diplomacy", Peskov told Russian news agencies.

Russians are going to the polls tomorrow in an atmosphere of high tension after sanctions were imposed by the United Kingdom and the US.

The penalties also include the first use of new powers that Congress passed previous year to punish Moscow for election meddling.

Mr Corbyn said Labour did not support Mr Putin and that Russian Federation should be held to account if it was behind the attack. "Sooner or later, they will have to be held accountable for their lies".

Altogether, 19 Russians were cited. "All the responsibility for the deterioration of the Russia-U.K. relationship lies with the current political leadership of Britain".

Mr Skripal is a retired colonel in the Russian military intelligence service.

Thursday's action freezes any assets the individuals and entities may have in the United States and bars Americans from doing business with them.

"This latest action by Russian Federation fits into a pattern of behavior in which Russian Federation disregards the global rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit Western democratic institutions and processes", Sanders said. It noted that the attack caused several US hospitals to be unable to create electronic medical records for more than a week.

Those included in the Mueller indictment include Yevgeny Prigozhin, who's become known as the chef to Russian President Vladimir Putin. They were included in Mueller's indictment last month. They've been indicted by USA special counsel Robert Mueller for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Responding to Mr Williamson, Mr Lavrov said: "I guess he wants to go down in history with some bombastic statements".