Hugo Gye and Natasha Clark – March 14, 2018
The PM said Russia had shown “contempt and defiance” in the aftermath of an attempt to kill ex-spy Sergei Skripal and warned that the poisoning represented “the unlawful use of force by Russia against the United Kingdom”.
She also confirmed that no ministers or members of the Royal Family will attend this summer’s World Cup in Russia – but stopped short of calling on the England team to pull out of the tournament.
Putin’s officials responded with fury, saying Britain’s tough response was “unacceptable, unjustified and shortsighted” and describing it as a “provocation”.
A statement released by the Russian embassy in the capital crowed: “Obviously, by investigating this incident in a unilateral, non-transparent way, the British Government is again seeking to launch a groundless anti-Russian campaign.
“Needless to say, our response measures will not be long in coming.”