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Russian Envoy Says UK Moves to Call UNSC Meeting, Expel Diplomats 'Unacceptable'

© REUTERS / Peter NichollsPolice officers stand guard outside the home of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018
Police officers stand guard outside the home of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018 - Sputnik International
Earlier, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has claimed that Moscow was "highly likely" behind the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the accusations as "circus show in the UK's parliament" and Moscow has sent a note to London denying the involvement in the case.

The UK summoned Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko to the Foreign Office in London over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, according to media reports citing a source in the British government.

"Everything that is done today by the British government is absolutely unacceptable, and we consider this a provocation," the diplomat told the Sky News broadcaster following the meeting at the Foreign Office.

London called for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council earlier on Wednesday to update members on the probe into a nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal, a former officer of Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate, and his daughter, according to the Foreign Office's Twitter account. The meeting is expected to start at 3 pm EST at the UN headquarters in New York.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, the EU Council Chief said he was ready to the put the case on agenda of the EU summit i that will be held on March 22-23 in Brussels.

Theresa May on Monday said in an address to the parliament it was "highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and [his daughter] Yulia Skripal," and demanded that Moscow unveils the details of its Novichok nerve agents program to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). She went on to stress London will consider the poisoning as the use of force on the UK territory if there's no response. May also stressed the UK was prepared to take more extensive measures against Moscow.

According to a source in the UK parliament speaking to Sputnik, the UK may freeze assets of Russian oligarchs and expel a number of Russian diplomats amid the developing scandal over the Skripal poisoning.

Moscow has strongly rejected all accusations of involvement in the Skripal case and said that such groundless claims were unacceptable. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has called May's remarks "circus show in the UK's parliament." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stressed that Moscow requested to be given access to all the materials of the case, including samples of the mysterious substance. The Russian embassy has also sent the note saying Moscow was not engaged in the incident.

Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious in a shopping center in Salisbury on March 4. The two are being treated for exposure to the chemical substance and remain in critical condition.

In 2006, Skripal was sentenced in Russia to 13 years in prison for cooperating with the UK Secret Intelligence Service MI-6 and transferring the names of Russian intelligence agents working undercover in Europe. Skripal was granted asylum in the United Kingdom after a US-Russia spy exchange in 2010.

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