May Thanks Poroshenko for Expulsion of Russian Diplomats Over Skripal Case

May Thanks Poroshenko for Expulsion of Russian Diplomats Over Skripal Case
REUTERS/ Stefan WermuthEurope06:36 12.04.2018Get short URL

UK Prime Minister Theresa May thanked Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for the expulsion of 13 Russian diplomats over the alleged poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the UK city of Salisbury, a UK Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson said.

“The Prime Minister thanked President Poroshenko for the Ukraine’s support and expulsion of 13 Russian diplomats. She noted that this was not just a strong signal of solidarity with the UK, but also of commitment to our collective security. The Prime Minister highlighted that the breadth and extent of the international response to Salisbury sent a clear message that Russia’s malign actions will not be tolerated,” the spokesperson said.

The two leaders discussed by phone the Salisbury incident, with the Ukrainian president condemning the “appalling act” and vowing to stand in solidarity with London “in the face of Russian aggression.”

May and Poroshenko agreed that the Salisbury incident was “only the latest act in a pattern of Russian behaviour which shows disregard for the international rules-based system,” with the UK prime minister noting that continued support for Ukraine had to be a “key element in the West’s response,” according to the spokesperson.

Russia’s relations with the United Kingdom, as well as with a number of Western states, deteriorated in early March as London accused Moscow of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. Soon after the incident, London announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomatic workers. Over two dozen countries have since expelled Russian diplomats “in solidarity” with London.

Moscow has denied having any role in the case, pointing to the lack of evidence provided by London to substantiate its accusations.