UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced on March 14 that 23 Russian diplomats had a week to leave the country, blaming Moscow for Skripal's poisoning. The former Russian intelligence officer and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in Salisbury after being exposed to what UK experts have said was the Russian-developed military-grade nerve agent Novichok.

Russian officials have denied the accusations. Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that Moscow was ready to cooperate on the probe but needed to look at the samples of the substance in question.

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who was accused of espionage on behalf of London and later granted asylum in the United Kingdom after a US-Russia spy exchange, and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury. Both of them remain in critical condition and are being treated for suspected exposure to a nerve agent.

Investigation is underway.

Police cordon off the area near the Maltings in Salisbury, England, where British media reported Monday, March 5, 2018 that a former Russian spy was in critical condition after coming into contact with an unknown substance on Sunday. British media identified him as Sergei Skripal, 66, who was convicted in Russia on charges of spying for Britain and sentenced in 2006 to 13 years in prison. Skripal was freed in 2010 as part of a U.S.-Russian spy swap.  - Sputnik International
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