MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov voiced regret on Friday over the European Union’s decision to recall its Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer for consultations.
"In regard to the decision [on recalling the ambassador], certainly we regret that again, with the term "highly likely" used, such decisions and such judgements are made," Peskov told reporters.
"We disagree with this and once again repeat that Russia absolutely and unambiguously has no relation to the Skripal case," he said.
Russia has not so far received information from the United Kingdom on the incident and doesn’t know which data London cited when discussing the issue with its EU colleagues, Peskov noted.
At the meeting in Brussels on Thursday, leaders of the EU countries decided to recall Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer for consultations in the wake of the Skripal case.
Several EU countries are also considering the option to recall their diplomats from Russia or expel Russian diplomats, a European source told TASS on the sidelines of the EU Council in Brussels.
On March 4, ex-Colonel of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate convicted for spying for the United Kingdom, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia,33, were exposed to a nerve agent. They were found unconscious on a bench near a shopping center in Salisbury. On March 12, British Prime Minister Theresa May said it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible for the attack on Skripal and his daughter. She identified the substance used in the attack as a Novichok nerve agent, developed in the Soviet Union. The PM accused Russia of "an unlawful use of force" against her country. Later she announced that London would expel 23 Russian diplomats and take other measures against Moscow.
On March 17, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that 23 British diplomats have been declared persona non grata and would be expelled within a week. Moreover, the ministry stated that Moscow would withdraw permission to open the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg and terminate the British Council in the Russian Federation.