Russia's counter-measures against Britain 'futile'


British officials say the chemical nerve agent used in the attack is known as Novichok, which was developed by the Soviet Union and inherited by Russian Federation.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has labelled Russia's counter-measures "futile" as the diplomatic row over the nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy in the United Kingdom rumbles on.

"Dine at the Russian Embassy", read the white graffiti stenciled onto the pavement near the Russian embassy in London.

Britain's ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow. In response, May expelled 23 Russian diplomats from Britain.

In 2006, green tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 was used to murder ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of the Kremlin, in London.

Russian Federation has denied it was responsible for the poisoning.

The March 14 statement made by British Prime Minister Theresa May in Parliament on measures to "punish" Russian Federation, under the false pretext of its alleged involvement in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter, constitutes an unprecedented, flagrant provocation that undermines the foundations of normal dialogue between our countries. British Prime Minister Theresa May this week ordered 23 Russian diplomats expelled as part of measures to punish Russia over the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury.

In an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Yakovenko also accused Britain of cranking up its aggression against Moscow in order to distract the British public from the difficulties it was having managing the country's 2019 exit from the European Union.

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Russia's envoy at the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog says Britain and the USA both have access to the nerve agent used in the poisoning of the ex-spy in Britain.

Russian Federation offered some cooperation to British authorities after the 2006 London murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko too.

"Perhaps it's clear that London has found itself in a very hard situation over Brexit negotiations with the European Union", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

May told Turnbull that she visited Salisbury on Thursday and that the act "represented an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the U.K".

The Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that 19 Russian individuals and five Russian entities would be sanctioned for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election and engaging in cyberattacks.

The Russian foreign ministry said the British diplomatic representatives would be forced to leave the country in days.

He said Russian Federation would target the same number of people as the USA but didn't say what the sanctions would involve.

The U.S. also has condemned the attack and urged Moscow to explain its actions.