Russia’s response to Britain’s decision to expel 23 of its diplomats from London following the poisoning of a former Russian double agent living in England “can come at any minute”, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitri Peskov said on Friday. Moscow’s retaliation will not be long in coming, Peskov said. He stressed that any steps would, of course, “be well thought out” and will correspond fully to Russia’s interests.
The spokesman’s response confirmed statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who had announced earlier on Friday that Russia would definitely expel British diplomats, but that the intensity of the response would be determined by President Vladimir Putin, who is now in the midst of an election campaign.
The statements by Peskov and Lavrov came in response to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement on Wednesday of the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and the freezing of bilateral relations with Russia in reaction to the poisoning.
Since the affair broke, Russia has continually denied the accusations of British authorities.