Britain says it has proof Russian Federation stockpiled lethal nerve agent

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Russian Federation on Saturday announced it is expelling 23 British diplomats and threatened further measures in retaliation in a growing diplomatic dispute over a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain.

On Saturday, Russia's ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, said Moscow "had nothing to do" with the attack, accusing Johnson of "acting in an inappropriate manner" by pointing the finger at Putin.

Russian Federation is "ready to participate in the necessary investigations" but does not see any interest in this on the British side, he said.

Mr Shulgin added: "For sure they will not be able to tell where the substance came from - this will require dialogue between Russian Federation and the United Kingdom".

Worldwide chemical weapons experts were due to arrive in Britain Monday to collect samples of a nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy as London accused Moscow of stockpiling the toxin used in the attack. They remain in critical condition.

However, the vote was marred by allegations of ballot stuffing, while a group of activists protested outside London's Russian Embassy.

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury on March 4 has triggered a crisis with Britain and Russian Federation expelling diplomats in tit-for-tat measures.

Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are expected to collect samples of the substance, which Britain has identified as Novichok - a Soviet-designed military-grade nerve agent.

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"If the latter, a connection to Russian mafia-like groups that have been allowed to gain a toehold in Britain can not be excluded", he said.

Russia's response had been anticipated, a UK Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the UK National Security Council would meet early next week to discuss next steps.

"We need to put pressure on Russian Federation to take part in a real enquiry about the attack", Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told reporters.

Johnson said Britain would target wealth linked to the Kremlin in response to the poisoning of the former Russian double agent.

"We destroyed all our chemical weapons under the supervision of global organisations, and we did it first, unlike some of our partners who promised to do it, but unfortunately did not keep their promises", Putin said.

Britain, France, Germany and the United States have pointed the finger at Moscow, and London reacted to the incident with expulsion of diplomat and other measures.

Moscow's denials over its involvement in the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain are growing "increasingly absurd", British foreign minister Boris Johnson said today. "The position of the British side seems absolutely irresponsible to us", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: "We are learning more about Sergei and Yulia's movements but we need to be clearer around their exact movements on the morning of the incident".

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