Russian official: European Union using spy case…

A police officer is reflected in a window next to a notice about former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia who were found on a park bench after being poisoned in Salisbury

Theresa May welcomes EU backing on Russia spy attack response

Russian Federation on Friday accused Britain of trying to force its allies to take "confrontational steps", after European Union member states made a decision to recall the bloc's envoy from Moscow and mulled further diplomatic action over a nerve attack row.

"I think this is a wholly artificial exercise which came and will pass". She added that there should be further action taken beyond the recall of the EU's ambassador to Moscow.

According to NHS England, Sergei Skripal, 66, and Yulia Skripal, 33, remain hospitalized in a critical but stable condition in intensive care after they were found collapsed on a bench in the city of Salisbury on March 4.

Earlier, European Council President Donald Tusk said that on Monday, March 26, EU countries would take additional measures in connection with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK. Theresa May also met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Brussels and a spokesperson of Downing 10 claimed that "the UK, Germany and France reaffirmed that there is no plausible explanation other than that the Russian state was responsible".

In response, Artyom Kozhin, Russia's foreign ministry spokesman, said: 'We regret that the European Union chose to follow another anti-Russian campaign launched by London and its allies from across the ocean'.

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Image copyright PA Image caption A charter flight from Moscow lands at RAF Brize Norton carrying the British diplomats and their families expelled from Moscow over the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Latvia said on Friday it would expel "one or several" Russian diplomats.

The European Council agreed that Russian Federation is "highly likely" to be responsible because there is "no other plausible explanation".

The news follows the unprecedented agreement of all 27 other member states to a strongly worded statement unequivocally supporting Theresa May and blaming Moscow for the first known offensive use of a nerve toxin in Europe since the Second World War.

During a summit dinner, May laid out the reasons Britain is convinced Moscow was behind the attack, including the type of poison used — a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok — and intelligence that Russian Federation has produced it within the last decade.

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Other issues that will be discussed during the bilateral meeting will be Ukraine, Syria, and North Korea , Trump added. Officials said the duo spoke by phone on Tuesday, days after the Russian leader secured a fourth term in the Kremlin.

Russia and the United Kingdom have been embroiled in a bitter diplomatic fight since Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33-year-old Yulia Skripal, were poisoned in the English cathedral city of Salisbury on March 4.

"We don't agree with this and we repeat again that Russian Federation absolutely definitely has nothing to do with the Skripal case".

The leaders of former Soviet bloc European Union states the Czech Republic and Lithuania, as well as Denmark and Ireland, said they were considering further unilateral steps, including expelling diplomats.

A senior Russian diplomat has dismissed British accusations against Moscow over the poisoning of an ex-spy as "jabber".

The leaders of France and Germany declined to say whether they also planned expulsions, but said more action was needed against Russian Federation.

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Grybauskaite said Friday that "we got more detailed information from the prime minister May and it was very good information".

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