August 3, 2021

Theresa May Throws Down Gauntlet To Russia: Expels 23 Russian Diplomats After Nerve Agent Attack.

On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the United Kingdom would expel 23 Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury that targeted a former Russian spy and his daughter.

Russia did not respond to a midnight deadline for an explanation of how one of its nerve agents targeted Sergei Skripal and his daughter. May wasted no time in launching a response; in addition to the announcement expelling the diplomats, May asserted that Great Britain will consider imposing sanctions on Russia and will cut off all top-level connections with Russia. She said Russia met a U.K. request for an explanation with “sarcasm, contempt and defiance.” She added that Russia offered no explanation at all. May said, “Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events. … There is no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state was responsible for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter.” She called the attack an “unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom.

May concluded that the U.K. would use “a range of tools from across the full breadth of our national security apparatus in order to counter the threats of hostile state activity.” She continued:

We will not tolerate the threat to life of British people and others on British soil from the Russian government. Nor will we tolerate such a flagrant breach of Russia’s international obligations … we will freeze Russian state assets wherever we have evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents. And, led by the National Crime Agency, we will continue to bring all the capabilities of UK law enforcement to bear against serious criminals and corrupt elites. There is no place for these people – or their money – in our country. … We have no disagreement with the people of Russia. Many of us looked at a post-Soviet Russia with hope. We wanted a better relationship and it is tragic President Putin has chosen to act in this way.

The British Foreign Office had already requested an urgent meeting of the U.N. security council to update council members on the investigation into the assassination attempt.

Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko responded, “I said everything what is done today by the British government is absolutely unacceptable and we consider this provocation.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbin, a socialist who has been accused of having contacts with agents from the Communist bloc, protested that the nerve agent attack could have been launched by another entity rather than Russia, adding, “If the government believes that it is still a possibility that Russia negligently lost control of a military-grade nerve agent, what action is being taken through the OPCW with our allies?” He asked what response had been made to Russia’s demand that it be given a sample of the nerve agent to test.

May said the Russians had already been given the chance to explain, firing back, “It was clear from remarks that were made by backbenchers across the whole of the house on Monday that there is a consensus across the backbenches of this house. I am only sorry that the consensus does not go as far as the right honourable gentleman, who could have taken the opportunity as the UK government has done to condemn the culpability of the Russian state.”

The New York Times reported, “Britain’s broadcast regulator has also hinted that it could revoke the license of RT, the Kremlin-controlled English-language news channel. … Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that he stood with Mrs. May on what he called a ‘brutal attack inspired, most likely, by Moscow,’ and said he was prepared to put the matter on the agenda for the council’s meeting next week.”

Source: The Daily Wire