The performance of Mae in the Parliament of Britain (screenshot)
Spy scandal between Britain and Russia is gaining momentum. The British government announced the decision to expel the 23 Russian diplomats that were found to be undeclared scouts, and is preparing to freeze state assets of the Russian Federation. London considers such measures to be entirely justified in the light of recent events – cynical poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, which jeopardized the lives of other citizens. Although in another high-profile murder with polonium-210 of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, which are suspected of quite specific members of the Russian intelligence, Britain was confined to strong statements.
The Kremlin has threatened the London response. In his manner, the Russian foreign Ministry called the charges in the assassination of Sergei Skripal a fake, and the ultimatum of great Britain – “the baseless anti-Russian campaign.”
What happens between the UK and Russia and how the situation may develop further in the review LIGA.net.
“These people have gone – a man and his daughter”
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia was poisoned in the small British town of Salisbury on March 4, and it was not the first attempt in the UK and abroad, in involvement to which suspected Russia.
See also: Poison and explosives. As the Russian special services killed abroad
But this crime went far beyond the police Department: the fatal agent was used by the killers in a public place. The authorities of the town of Salisbury, which was poisoned Skripal, was forced to warn residents about the potential threat and encouraged them to wash clothes. The city has troops hisahide. Traces of toxic substances discovered at Zizzi restaurant, in which rested the former spy and his daughter, and near the bench in the Park. Carefully inspected his house, and over the graves of his wife and son installed the yellow tent. The study took even the flowers that they brought to the cemetery for a few hours until he lost consciousness.
“Poisoning is not only jeopardized the lives of Sergey and Julia. It also threatened the life of a police… It is a threat to 500 people who may have been exposed to gas, before authorities issued a belated warning,” wrote on Tuesday, the British edition of Daily Mail.
Residents of Salisbury shocked poisoning and fear the consequences. The Guardian quoted a resident: “First, I see people in huge protective clothing, and then we say – all right, wash clothes, use baby wipes. I look at the photo in the newspaper of five men almost space suits, and we go in normal clothes”.
“Try to kill two people in broad daylight on British soil and endanger untold number of our citizens is an act of such barbarity that he should be punished,” added the Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover.
By assumption, the British authorities, Sergei Skripal was the strongest poisoned nervously-paralytic substance “Beginner”, which was developed in the USSR in the 1970s. This was confirmed by experts at Britain’s Porton Down laboratory.
Working in the heart of the Soviet program chemist Vil Mirzayanov told the British press that Russia is the only country capable of producing such a powerful agent. Poisoning “Rookie” virtually incurable, he says: “These people have gone – a man and his daughter. Even if they survive, they will not recover.”
To bring the poison in Britain could have as several harmless components, possibly via diplomatic mail. This means of communication, Russia has resorted to the assassination of former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in Qatar. Only then to undermine his car in the diplomatic channels passed the ingredients for explosives.
The Times, citing former Commissioner of the Metropolitan police Lord Blair said that Litvinenko and Skripal may not be the only victims of Russia, already known at least 14 such cases: “They are identified by us intelligence sources as the possible victims of Russian murders in the UK.”
“We demand an explanation”
Monday, March 12, Prime Minister Theresa may during a speech to Parliament, explicitly stated that Moscow may be involved in the assassination of Skripal and his daughter. She voiced two versions: either the Russian government was preparing a poisoning or allowed otraslyam substance to fall into the hands of others.
Britain gave Putin the day to explain the situation. If a credible response is not received, warned Mei, poisoning Skripal will be considered as illegal Russia’s use of force in Britain. The government does not agree with such “blatant attempt to kill innocent civilians on our land.”
According to British media reports, the police counter-terrorism and intelligence provided to the national security Council the UK is clear evidence that Moscow ordered the assassination in Salisbury a week ago. The former Conservative party leader Ian Duncan Smith has called Russia a rogue state and demanded the most serious response to the incident: “Otherwise we should expect even worse”.
The Minister of foreign Affairs Boris Johnson called for a response of the Ambassador of Russia Alexander Yakovenko. Later sources, The Independent reported that the meeting was restricted to just five minutes. Johnson “was solid, and it was not a handshake”.
Russia responded to the ultimatum traditionally. The Russian foreign Ministry warning may called “a circus show in the British Parliament.” Sergei Lavrov said that Britain had denied Russia the access to all the materials of the case of poisoning, and only in this case, the Kremlin is ready to cooperate. And Vladimir Putin from the question British journalists dismissed, citing the employment in agriculture: “You will first be examined there, and then we are going to talk about that, okay?”
“Putin checks the boundaries of their authority”
The harsh reaction of the British authorities to Russia’s behavior – good, but late, according to British media. In case Putin already is war in Syria, Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea. The reaction of the Western world to these events and violations of law were insufficient.
“If (Putin) is responsible (for poisoning Skripal), then he probably is not expecting a strong reaction. Because we have not done anything with the chemical attacks in Syria and Iran. We need to define a taboo, a red line. Otherwise every dictator, despot, rogue state and a terrorist will be able to use this material, ‘ said The Guardian a former commander of the joint chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear regiment in the British army Hamish de Bretton-Gordon. We did nothing against the use of chemical weapons in Syria and Iran. Now we are paying the price.”
The Times believes that Putin tests the boundaries of their authority to continue to violate the established Western way of life. Military adventurism in Syria, Ukraine and Georgia, accompanied by the information war around the media and political organizations all over the world: “His intention is to destabilize, where possible. No doubt he sees Brakcet as an opportunity to weaken collective resolve in the European countries.”
Editor Bild Julian Reichelt recalled that the Russian President’s hands in blood. In recent years he has made a lot of statements about the war in Ukraine, even though he sent tanks into Crimea and the conflict in the Donbass killed more than 10 thousand lives. He has equipped criminals in Eastern Ukraine, anti-aircraft system that shot down the plane MH-17 Malaysia Airlines, killing 298 men, women and children. He leads a devastating war against Syrian civilians, including sarin. And now weapons of mass destruction appeared on the streets of Britain. “No one wants to see the West is at war with Russia. But this does not mean that we lack the courage to confront the bloody Putin’s rule,” says Reichelt.
“In our country there is no place for these people and their money”
The term of the ultimatum to Russia expired this afternoon. Explanations on the incident in Salisbury is not received. In the afternoon, Britain gave an ultimatum to Putin in action. “It was right to offer Russia the opportunity to give an explanation. But their reaction demonstrated complete contempt for the seriousness of these events. No explanation of how the agent came to the UK, no explanation why Russia has undeclared chemical weapons program,” said Mae in Parliament.
According to her, this is an illegal use of force by the Russian government against the United Kingdom. “It happened on the background of current natural aggression of Russia in Europe and abroad”, – quotes the Prime Minister SkyNews.
The public part of Russia involves diplomatic, economic and customs response.
First, Britain sends 23 Russian diplomats. May give them a week to leave the country. “All who were identified as undeclared scout” – she specified the status of persona non grata. This will be the largest expulsion of diplomats over the last 30 years: “We agreed on immediate action to dismantle a Russian spy network in the UK.” Through diplomatic channels may have canceled the visit of Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov in London.
The government has also tightened security screening of private aircraft and cargo, including “tracking the intentions of the persons who enter into the Kingdom and to engage in activities that threaten us and our allies safe.”
The next step – the amendments to the legislation which will allow to detain persons suspected of hostile activities against the UK. Currently it is allowed only in respect of terrorism suspects.
London warned that it may freeze Russian government assets if it can be demonstrated that their use threatens the safety of British nationals and is preparing new sanctions.
“We’ll freeze Russian government assets wherever we have evidence that they can be used to threaten the life or property of UK citizens or residents,” warned may.
The national Agency for crime will continue to struggle with serious criminals and corrupt elites “In our country there is no place for these people – or their money.”
Members of the Royal family and Ministers will not go to the world Cup in Russia, added may. Revoke the national team so far, although the number of media offered is more unpopular measures. Edition of the Daily Mail advised to withdraw England from the world Cup: “Otherwise the captain of England would be obliged to shake hands with the monster, which is… ultimately responsible for the assassination attempt on British soil, not to mention the countless human rights violations in Syria and other acts of terrorism… Putin’s Russia has invaded Ukraine, and planes scare the Syrian children even now. His sins are almost infinite.”
Said nothing to may about the information war with Russia. In the press there were proposals to strike at the misinformation disseminated “Russian trolling factories” – actually talking about the cyber attack on Russia, and questioned the need for broadcasting propaganda channel Rassia Today.
Regulatory body Ofcom even warned advocates that their license can be revoked.
The Guardian considers it appropriate, the freezing of assets of Russian oligarchs linked with the Kremlin, especially if they can’t explain the sources of London’s wealth. The UK also may recommend that Russian banks were cut off from Swift. This will help to weaken Russia’s ability to trade internationally. The problem is that Russian banks have moved to the Russian payment system SPFS created with countries outside the G7.
From a military point of view, says the publication, NATO can strengthen the strategic pressure on Moscow, accelerating pre-entrance of Ukraine into the Alliance by agreeing on a plan of action for the membership. This summer, the UK tops the summit in the Balkans and can use it as a means of encouraging the parties fighting against the influence of Moscow.
Finally, the UK could declare Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. In the United States such a designation leads to a number of unilateral sanctions, including a ban on the export and sale of arms, a ban on economic assistance and visa.
Some of the proposed measures may still be taken into account – in the secret part, the contents of which “nobody knows”.
But this is not enough, writes in a column for the Telegraph, former British foreign Secretary William Hague. Whatever measures against Russia, you need awareness from Washington to Berlin that only the full-scale strategy of the West will be able to demonstrate Putin’s “strength and determination in the face of unacceptable behavior.”
Read also: topic of the day. Spy scandal between Russia and Britain: all the details
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