LONDON, April 3. /TASS/. London would prefer to have Russia as a constructive partner, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s press secretary informed TASS Tuesday.
"The Prime Minister has been clear that the UK would much rather have a constructive partner in Russia but the Salisbury incident is part of the pattern of its increasingly aggressive behavior," the British Prime Minister’s press secretary stated.
Tensions between Russia and the UK have been escalating after former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Coronel Sergey Skripal, who had been convicted of spying for Great Britain, and his daughter, Yulia, suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent. London claimed that the poisonous substance had been developed in Russia and pinned the blame on Moscow for allegedly being complicit in the incident. Russia refuted these accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.
Later on, London expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other anti-Russian measures, which forced Moscow to respond symmetrically by ousting the same number of British diplomats, closing the Consulate-General of the United Kingdom in St. Petersburg, and terminating the operations of the British Council in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry requested that the total number of all employees in the British Embassy in Moscow and Britain’s consulate generals in Russia should be equal to the number of Russian diplomats and staff who are currently on long-term assignments in the UK.