Russian Federation hits back in spy poisoning row as experts called in

Anatoly Sobchak and Vladimir Putin

Putin calls UK accusations over ex-spy poisoning 'nonsense'

The meeting on Tuesday was happening after almost two dozen Russian diplomats were ordered to leave Britain because of the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter.

The Kremlin, for its part, has called the allegations "groundless" and has announced it will expell 23 British diplomats and close the British Consulate in St. Petersburg in turn. Both of them remain in critical condition. A Reuters video showed a small crowd gathered outside the Russian embassy, hugging and waving goodbye to others boarding vehicles with diplomatic plates.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Theresa May gave the diplomats - whom she said were undeclared intelligence agents - a week to leave Britain, an order which prompted Russian Federation to retaliate with its own expulsion of 23 British diplomats.

Britain's National Security Council was meeting Tuesday to consider possible further measures against Russian Federation.

Russia has refused to explain how Novichok, a nerve agent first developed by the Soviet military, was used to strike down Mr Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence, who betrayed dozens of spies to Britain. Alexander Yakovenko, the ambassador, thanked them on behalf of President Putin, telling them: "We are proud of you". The Russian Premier said that Russia has destroyed all chemical weapons and it was utter nonsense to even suggest his country is responsible for this poisoning incident.

Worldwide chemical weapons experts took samples Monday of the nerve agent used, which Britain says is the Soviet-developed Novichok.

Mohammed Shami's wife Hasin Jahan to meet Mamta Banerjee on March 23
Inspite of letter being sent by BCCI, it is learnt that the Kolkata Police is unhappy with the response. The police sought the details to check if he had gone to Dubai as claimed by his wife Hasin Jahan .

Mrs May and European leaders will discuss the poisoning at the upcoming EU summit on Thursday.

Authorities are still searching for clues around the Salisbury attack.

"The European Union takes extremely seriously the United Kingdom government's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible", they said.

An worldwide team of specialists from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is scheduled to visit Porton Down military research base in Wiltshire.

Meanwhile, the head of counter-terrorism policing in the UK, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, said the focus of the Salisbury investigation is "on the movements of the Skripals".

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