Expelled Russian diplomats leave London

Expelled Russian diplomats leave London

However, Professor Leonid Rink told the RIA news agency that the attack did not look like Moscow's work because Skripal and his daughter had not died immediately.

"It's easily available to professionals, and there is no problem for Britain, the US and other developed nations to create such weapon", he said.

The Embassy personnel, ejected in retaliation for the use of a military-grade nerve agent on British soil, flew home to Russian Federation the same day.

Davydov said Moscow had been met with ultimatums when it answered Britain's questions, and British sources could not necessarily be trusted.

The expulsion came as British police said the investigation into the poisoning could take months to complete, while Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Russian Federation of "trying to hide the needle of truth in a haystack of lies".

Twenty-three Russian diplomats and their families were on their way home on Tuesday after being expelled by the United Kingdom government in retaliation against the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4.

Russian Federation denies involvement in the incident, which also left a British police officer hospitalized.

"Russia's attempt to hide behind a false interpretation of the chemical weapons convention should fool no one", he said.

Putin, who was elected for a fourth term in the Kremlin on Sunday, said Russian Federation had been falsely accused.

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Asked why Russian Federation isn't showing proof of its innocence, he said, "let's stay sober-minded and first of all wait for proof from Britain" that Russian Federation was to blame.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Foreign Secretary said the use of a nerve agent against the Skripals was "very deliberate". He said each lab has its own chemical "signature", allowing experts to trace its origin.

British ambassador Matthew Rowland said Russian Federation was using "a series of wild hypotheses and half truth and half lies" to deflect attention from the truth, and its claim to have destroyed Novichok was "not clear at all".

Britain's National Security Council was meeting Tuesday to consider possible further measures against Russian Federation. The EU on Monday condemned the poisoning and called on Russian Federation to "address urgently" British questions about the Novichok nerve agent program.

In a statement, it accused Britain and other European Union member states of continuing development of similar nerve agents and said Britain's government is stirring up "media hysteria" around the case to distract Britons from the government's troubles in negotiating the country's exit from the EU.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov last week said Moscow never had any programmes to develop the chemical weapon. "A great country that has fallen so low only causes pity".

Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova emphasized that Britain has failed to provide any proof of Russian involvement, limiting itself to "boorish accusations". Global chemical weapons experts are due to take samples of the nerve agent.

Investigators have said that it may take "months" to complete the inquiry.

Meanwhile Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe voiced his "outrage" over the attack and urged Moscow to respond in a serious manner, in a phone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May. "Around 400 witness statements have been taken and many more will follow in the coming days and weeks".

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