Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   25 March

UK to expel 23 Russian diplomats over Skripal poisoning

YEREVAN, MARCH 14, ARMENPRESS. The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury, Prime Minister Theresa May said, BBC reported.

The PM said the diplomats, who have a week to leave, were identified as "undeclared intelligence officers".

She also revoked an invitation to Russia's foreign minister, and said the Royal Family would not attend the Fifa World Cup later this year.

Russia refused to meet May's midnight deadline to co-operate in the case, prompting May to announce a series of measures intended to send a "clear message" to Russia.

In addition to expelling he diplomats and boycotting the FIFA World Cup in Russia, the plans include to suspend all planned high level bi-lateral contacts between the UK and Russia, freeze Russian state assets where there is evidence they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents and increase checks on customs, cargo and private flights.

On 4 March 2018, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer, and his daughter Yulia, visiting him from Moscow, were poisoned with an alleged Russia-made nerve agent in Salisbury, England. As of 13 March 2018, they remain critically ill at Salisbury District Hospital. The poisoning is being investigated by British authorities as attempted murder.

The United Kingdom believes it is "highly likely" that the Russian government was behind the attack. Russia denies any involvement.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan

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