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British PM ignores TASS question about evidence against Russia in Skripal case

March 22, 17:32 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

According to diplomatic sources in Brussels, May might request other European Union member states to expel Russian diplomats

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© AP Photo/Olivier Matthys

BRUSSELS, March 22. /TASS/. British Prime Minister Theresa May has ignored a TASS question about whether London has evidence of Russia’s involvement in the Skripal case.

"It is clear that the Russian threat doesn't respect borders and indeed the incident in Salisbury was part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe and its near neighbors from the western Balkans to the Near East," May told reporters upon arrival in Brussels for a European Council summit. However, in response to the TASS question, she only winced and walked away.

Earlier, while speaking about that March 4 incident in Salisbury, May accused Russia of an "unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom."

According to diplomatic sources in Brussels, May might request other European Union member states to expel Russian diplomats, however, she has not yet called on the EU to impose sanctions for fear that such a step, which requires unanimous support from all of the summit participants, would be rejected, given the lack of evidence against Moscow.

Skripal case

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and exchanged for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of a nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union. London expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow.

Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats were expelled, the British consulate general in the city of St. Petersburg was closed and the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia. At the same time, Moscow pointed out that further measures could be taken "should there be any more hostile actions against Russia.".

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