MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. London will sooner or later have to either furnish evidence to sustain its allegations against Moscow over the poisoning incident of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, or apologize, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"Sooner or later they will have to be responsible for these allegations: they will either have to provide some evidence or apologize," Peskov said, noting that the UK’s accusations against Russia are difficult to explain.
Peskov refused to call this situation "a deterioration of relations with the West," noting that the UK leadership’s accusations against Russia are difficult to explain and the motivation for the slander was unclear.
On March 4, ex-intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury after being exposed to a nerve agent. Both are in hospital in critical condition.
The UK accused Russia of involvement, but failed to present any evidence. UK Prime Minister Theresa May on March 14 accused Russia of "an unlawful use of force" against her country. She said that 23 Russian diplomats would be expelled from the country within one week and that all planned high-level bilateral contacts had been suspended.
On Saturday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced that 23 British diplomats were declared persona non grata and would be expelled within a week. Moreover, the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg is due to be closed and the British Council would stop operating in Russia.