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US, UK standing behind Skripal provocation, says spokesperson

Maria Zakharova noted the Russian Foreign Ministry's had been prepared to tackle this turn of events

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. The US and the UK are standing behind the provocation in in the British city of Salisbury and the very numbers of diplomats expelled from Western countries leave no doubts about it, the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Monday speaking live on Rossiya-1 channel.

She noted the Russian Foreign Ministry's had been prepared to tackle this turn of events.

"Were it not for 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.

France, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the US, Canada, Italy, and some other countries said on Thursday they were expelling a total of about a hundred Russian diplomats in the wake of the incident involving the former Russian intelligence officer and British spy Sergei Skripal in the British city of Salisbury.

The Western nations opted for siding with Britain’s allegations spearheading Russia in spite of the fact the British government had not provided a single conclusive evidence on the case.

The Russian Foreign Ministry offered a quick reaction to the situation saying Moscow would not leave the West’s ‘solidarity motion’ unreciprocated.

Last week, the UK authorities expelled 23 Russia diplomats and announced a list of other anti-Russian measures. The Russian side expelled the same number of British diplomats, ordered the closure of the British Consulate General in St Petersburg and stopped the operations of the British Council.

Russian officials and experts have said on many occasions in the past neither the former USSR nor Russia had developed or produced the nerve agent codenamed Novichok, which was allegedly used in Salisbury to poison Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33.