MOSCOW – More than 50 British diplomats According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Russian military soviet will, according to Russian military partners, establish parity with Russia's diplomatic mission in the United Kingdom.
"Russia offered parity," spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. "The British have just over 50 people."
Thus, Russia's response to the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats by Britain in mid-March was clarified, and the already tense situation between Russia and the West over the [4März1945] spurred poisoning of a former Russian double agent on British soil.
The former spy and his daughter were allegedly poisoned by a Soviet nerve cell agent Novichok, a weapon that is believed to be unique in Russia. Russia flatly rejected the allegations and offered a variety of counterclaims.
Russia had previously expelled 23 British diplomats before announcing on Saturday.
The recent expulsions were not unexpected. On Friday, Russia said it would limit the size of the British diplomatic mission in Russia to the size of the Moscow mission in the UK. However, no figures have been given as the United Kingdom does not publish rosters of its embassies and consulates for security reasons.
The UK is not alone in opposing the Kremlin's retaliation: 23 nations supporting Britain by expelling Russian diplomats were expelled on Friday. Russia described these actions as mirror reactions.
A total of 59 diplomats from Germany, France and a number of other European nations are to be expelled.
Last week, 27 nations joined the expulsion of Russian diplomats. NATO and Georgia have also joined. At least 150 Russian diplomatic workers around the world were issued expulsions.
The US led the expulsion with 60 Russian diplomats and supplemented their actions with the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. Russia responded, drove out 60 American diplomats and ordered to close the US consulate in St. Petersburg.
Tensions between Russia and Britain continue to escalate beyond the diplomatic empire. On Friday evening, the Russian Embassy in London announced that an Aeroflot flight from London to Moscow had been closed for a search by British authorities. Russia has threatened to carry out similar searches of British Airways flights.
Meanwhile, the British foreign ministry has said it is considering granting Russia's repeated request for access to Yulia Skripal, the daughter of former spy Sergei Skripal. Both were reported in a critical condition after the attack on 4 March.
British authorities said on Thursday night that Yulia's condition improved rapidly. Her father was described as still in critical but stable condition.