MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. Russia’s response to Britain’s charges must be prompt, tough and proportionate, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told the media on Wednesday.
"Britain has blamed Russia without putting forward any charges. That’s unprecedented. I believe that this is utterly something unheard of in diplomatic practice. We, Russia, must react promptly, toughly and proportionately," Matviyenko said.
Matviyenko has described Britain’s actions taken over the past few days as a mean and shameless provocation ahead of the Russian presidential election.
"It is obvious that this is a mean and shameless provocation with a poorly conceived and written scenario of an ostensibly Russian connection and anti-presidential campaign arranged day by day, aimed at dictating a negative image of Russia to the world community," Matviyenko told the media on Wednesday.
"Nobody can answer an ordinary, simple question: why should Russia take silly steps that merely fan tensions ahead of the presidential election and the FIFA World Cup finals?" Matviyienko said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May on March 14 accused Russia of "unlawful use of force" against her country following an incident involving former GRU Colonel Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia. She said that 23 Russian diplomats would be expelled from the country within one week and that British officials would be absent from the FIFA World Cup finals. May speculated Moscow had lost control of the reserves of the toxic agent that had been used for an attack against the Skripals.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia had nothing to do with the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter and that London was trying to mislead the world public. Moscow urged London for related evidence and for providing them in keeping with the official procedures.
Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia suffered from the effects of a nerve gas. They were found in an unconscious condition on a bench near a shopping center in Salisbury. Both are in hospital and their condition is critical. May claimed they had been poisoned with a nerve agent of the Novichok group of chemicals, developed in the Soviet Union.