Not the one to take a snub lying down, Russia is to expel 23 British diplomats in response to UK ousting 23 Russian ambassadors earlier this week.
Staff from Britain's Moscow embassy would be expelled within a week, the Russian foreign ministry said, adding to the tension over the March 4 nerve-agent attack on a former spy and his daughter in Salisbury.
The Russian foreign ministry has announced that it would declare British diplomats "persona non grata" and reserve "the right to introduce other retaliatory measures in case of further unfriendly actions".
The ministry, on Saturday, handed Russia's response to the British sanctions to Laurie Bristow, UK ambassador to Russia.
Moreover, British Council in Russia and the British Consulate in St Petersburg are to shut down.
Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, were found unconscious on a bench in Britain's Salisbury on March 4.
The UK government claims that they were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok, developed exclusively by Russia.
British PM Theresa May, while expelling Russian diplomats, held Moscow "culpable".
The father-daughter are still critically ill.
However, Russia has denied all claims of involvement.
Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Friday directly blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the attack, saying it was "overwhelmingly likely" that he had ordered it, reported the BBC.
"Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin, and with his decision," said Johnson.
Russia retaliated by calling Britain's accusations against Putin "shocking and unforgivable".
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