World Bulletin / News Desk
Moscow considers the action an unprecedented gross provocation that “undermines the foundations of a normal dialogue between our countries,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.
It said the UK’s plan to expel 23 Russian diplomats marked "a serious deterioration of relations".
"We consider categorically unacceptable and unworthy the fact that the British government, in its unseemly political purposes, has entered into a serious deterioration of relations, having announced a set of hostile measures," the statement said.
The British government chose confrontation with Russia instead of completing an investigation into the poisoning and using international formats, including those within the framework of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the ministry said.
It said it is "obvious that by using unilateral and non-transparent methods of investigation of this case that British authorities had once again tried to unleash an anti-Russian campaign".
“Naturally, our countermeasures won’t keep you waiting,” it added.
Former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were admitted to a hospital after being found unconscious in the southern English city of Salisbury. “Mr. Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia,” specifically from the Novichok group, May said Monday.
The incident has drawn comparisons to the 2006 death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko after he drank radioactive tea. Former KGB bodyguards identified as suspects in the murder denied any involvement.
Skripal was granted refuge in the UK following a 2010 spy exchange between the U.S. and Russia. Before the exchange, he was serving 13 years in prison for leaking information to British intelligence.