Britain will expel 23 Russian diplomats in response to a nerve toxin attack on a Russian former double agent in southern England, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday, adding it was the biggest single expulsion in over 30 years.
May said Britain would also introduce new measures to strengthen defenses against hostile state activities, freeze Russian state assets wherever there was evidence of a threat and downgrade its attendance at the soccer World Cup in Russia this summer.
Russia, which has repeatedly denied any involvement in the nerve agent attack, said Britain should expect retaliation for its actions.
Former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury on March 4 and remain in hospital in critical condition. A police officer was also harmed and remains in a serious condition.