Britain Expels 23 Russian Diplomats Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday, blaming Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and sharply escalating the dispute between the two countries.
Her statement to Parliament came after Moscow rejected a British deadline for Russia to explain itself over this month’s nerve agent attack on the former spy, Sergei V. Skripal, and his daughter. The two countries have engaged in an worsening clash in recent days, with Britain widening an investigation into the incident and courting friends and allies to increase pressure on Russia, while Moscow has threatened to retaliate over any punitive action.
俄罗斯拒绝在英国给出的最后期限之前，对本月向前间谍谢尔盖·V·斯克里帕尔(Sergei V. Skripal)及其女儿使用神经毒剂下毒一事做出解释。梅在最后期限过后向议会发表了上述声明。最近几日，英国和俄罗斯之间的冲突不断加剧，英国扩大了对事件的调查，并敦促盟友加大对俄罗斯施压，而莫斯科则威胁要对任何惩罚性行动进行报复。
“This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom,” Mrs. May said in an address to the House of Commons. “It must therefore be met with a full and robust response.”
She said she had agreed with Britain’s National Security Council to suspend all high-level contacts between her country and Russia, and to expel 23 Russian diplomats, who had one week to leave. She described it as the biggest expulsion in more than 30 years.
“Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events,” Mrs. May said of Russia’s response. “They have provided no credible explanation.”