When Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, was poisoned by a nerve agent outside a shopping center in England, British officials were obviously not happy that Russia, the suspected culprit, had brought a nerve agent into their country to carry out an attempted assassination. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, purposed a litany of sanctions at the time.
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May gave Russia an ultimatum: Get your spies out of our country or we will expel 23 alleged Putin spies ourselves.
According to the Daily Mail, the spies did not leave in the allotted time frame. In turn, May stated that Britain would discontinue “all high level contact” with Russia and issue sanctions on the country.
“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,” she said. “There is no place for these people – or their money – in our country.”
Russia did not take the threat lightly responding that the British sanctions were “absolutely unacceptable.” They issued a threat of their own, “Our response measures will not be long in coming.”
May believed that the Russian response was an indication that high-level Russians had planned the poisoning. “Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events,” May said. “There is no alternative conclusion other than the Russian state was responsible for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter.”
Russian Embassy officials issued a statement in a Tweet stating: “We believe it is absolutely unacceptable and unworthy of the British Government to seek to further seriously aggravate relations in pursuit of its unseemly political ends, having announced a whole series of hostile measures, including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the country.”
These chain of events transpired after Skripal and his daughter Yulia was poisoned as they sat on a bench outside the city of Salisbury on March 4. Weeks before the attack, Skripal had gone to the local authorities to express a concern for his life.
The nerve agent used was manufactured in Russia, according to CNN. The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon to further discuss the issue.