The Russian government fired-back at the United Kingdom following the expulsion of 23 Kremlin diplomats from the UK; announcing their decision to remove British officials from Russia as tensions between the two nations reach their highest levels since the Cold War.
According to Reuters, Putin plans to announce his decision after British Prime Minister Theresa May formally accused the Kremlin of the illegal assassination plot; using banned nerve agents to murder a former spy in a quiet English town.
It was the first known use of chemical weapons in Europe since the Second World War.
“Russia is set to expel British diplomats in retaliation for Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to kick out 23 Russians as relations with London crashed to a post-Cold War low over an attack involving a military-grade nerve agent on English soil,” writes Reuters.
Putin’s announcement comes hours after leaders of the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany slammed the Russian government for its role behind the illegal assassination plot; labeling the attack “abhorrent” to the international community.
COLD WAR 2: Putin Unveils ‘INVINCIBLE’ Missile, Says US ‘FAILED’ to Contain Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin raised eyebrows throughout Washington Thursday, unveiling a new intercontinental ballistic missile he referred to as “invincible” and saying the United States “failed to contain” Russia’s military expansion and global ambitions.
Putin was speaking at his annual ‘State of the Nation’ speech when he pulled back the curtain on his new missile arsenal, claiming the “hypersonic” weapon can’t be intercepted by US defenses.
“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: all what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened,” he said. “You have failed to contain Russia.”
Putin went on to directly threaten the US and European powers, adding that any “nuclear attack” on a Russian ally would be treated as a direct assault on Russia itself; a likely reference to the ongoing Syrian civil war.
“We would consider any use of nuclear weapons against Russia or its allies to be a nuclear attack on our country. The response would be immediate,” he added.
COLD WAR 2: Tensions RISE Between UK and RUSSIA Following POISON PLOT
Tensions between the United Kingdom and Russia reached a fever pitch Tuesday after Vladimir Putin flat-out refused to comply with British demands regarding an alleged murder plot; demanding the UK provide evidence after accusing the Kremlin of poisoning an alleged spy on British soil.
The Russian leader rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s 24 hour deadline that his government answer questions surrounding the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy residing in the United Kingdom.
British officials insist the deadly attack was the work of Kremlin-backed operatives working inside the UK.
“Moscow will not respond to London’s ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance to which the UK investigators are referring,” said a statement from the Russian embassy.
“Britain must comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention which stipulates joint investigation into the incident, for which Moscow is ready,” it adds. “Without that, there can be no sense in any statements from London. The incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia.”
In a stunning response, Britain threatened to shutter Russian-owned television network RT from operating inside the UK; prompting Russia to say it will “ban” all British media from the country in retaliation.
h/t The Sun