Russia expelled 23 British diplomats on Saturday in a retaliatory move over British accusations that the Kremlin orchestrated a nerve toxin attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England.
May on Wednesday announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and suspended high-level contacts, including announcing that British royals and ministers would boycott this summer's football World Cup in Russia.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russian Federation would respond by expelling British diplomats "soon".
"Prime Minister May's decision to expel the Russian diplomats is the level of response that many Americans have been craving from our own administration".
Earlier in the day, the White House released a rare joint statement from the leaders of the U.S., France, Germany and the United Kingdom blaming Russia for the chemical attack on former Russian intelligence agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter in southern England last week.
Britain believes the Russian state is behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury. The leaders stressed that they share Britain's opinion on Russia's involvement in this incident, and they called Moscow for providing the information about Novichok agent (a series of nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union and Russiabetween 1971-1993, -ed.) to the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons).
The aim of the nerve agents appears to have been to circumvent global conventions banning chemical weapons by developing compounds with new structures that would escape detection, experts say. Russia denies the charge despite the use of a nerve agent that is seen as its exclusive property to attack former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter last week.
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"I think there must be somebody behind it who has delivered it", he said.
The war of words between Moscow and London over the poisoning of a former Russian spy escalated as Britain's outspoken Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said his government's "quarrel" was with Putin rather than the Russian people.
Thus, Moscow has no doubt that London has launched an anti-Russian campaign, Zakharova said, adding that Britain's attitude showed that the "Russophobic hysteria had reached a new level". British Prime Minister Theresa May Had Earlier Said That "It is highly likely that Russian Federation is involved" in the poisoning spy incident.
Linkevičius also said the introduction of legislation similar to the U.S. Magnitsky Act, a sanction which Prime Minister Theresa May announced this week, would be damaging for the Russian elite.
"US President Donald Trump later said it looks like" Russian Federation was behind the poisoning. The tensions threaten to overshadow Putin's expected re-election Sunday for another six-year presidential term.
A British policeman who was also poisoned when he went to help them is in a serious but stable condition.