U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced a series of measures to punish Russia this Wednesday, following a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury.
The measures include the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, the single biggest expulsion in over 30 years. May said the U.K. would also not send an official government representative to the soccer World Cup in Russia this year.
May said in Parliament this Wednesday that the U.K. “doesn’t want to break off all dialogue but this relationship cannot be the same,”, she announced that the U.K. is “suspending all high-level contact between the U.K. and Russia.”
The U.K. will “harden defenses against hostile state activity in the U.K.” There will equally be strengthened sanctions against the abuse of human rights.
U.K. government would also use powers to monitor and track those coming to the U.K. who could threaten the country. Finally, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s invitation to the U.K. revoked.
The penalties mark the most serious deterioration in U.K.- Russia relations in recent years. They come after Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy turned double agent for the U.K., and his daughter Yulia, were subject to a nerve agent attack in early March for which they remain in a critical condition in hospital.