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Diplomat vows Moscow will take measures against each country that expelled Russian envoys

The US and the UK are standing behind the provocation in Salisbury, Maria Zakharova stated

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Moscow will take measures on every country expelling Russian diplomats and respond to the closure of Russia’s Consulate General in Seattle, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Rossiya 1 television’s Sixty Minutes program on Monday.

"There will be a response to everything we saw today. Appropriate measures will be taken on each country, both regarding the expulsion of diplomats and the closure of the Russian Consulate General in Seattle," Zakharova said.

On Monday, the US administration announced 48 Russian diplomats and 12 members of Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York would be expelled from the country. In addition, the Consulate General in Seattle, Washington, will be closed. The pretext for the expulsion was the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal convicted in Russia of spying for the UK and his daughter Yulia in Britain. According to Britain’s version, they were exposed to a nerve agent in the city of Salisbury. Later on, London claimed that this substance had been developed in Russia accusing Moscow of involvement in the incident. Russia has flatly rejected these allegations pointing out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had any programs to develop this substance.

Britain also expelled 23 Russian diplomats without providing any evidence and said other measures against Moscow would be taken. Moscow took tit-for-tat steps expelling the same number of British diplomats from Russia and ordering to close the British Consulate-General in St. Petersburg and shut down the British Council’s offices in Russia.

The US and the UK are standing behind the provocation in Salisbury and the number of diplomats expelled from Western countries leaves no doubts about it, the diplomat also pointed out. 

She noted the Russian Foreign Ministry's preparedness for this turn of events.

"Were it not these figures today, one could continue guessing about the causes of this devilish performance staged by the UK or about the real beneficiary of the whole situation set up on the territory of the UK the powerful forces domiciled in the US and Britain," Zakharova said.

She said Russia had braced itself in advance for the British allies' actions.

"Quite naturally we realized after the EU summit what was in the offing and quite naturally we braced ourselves for it," Zakharova said.