The military-grade nerve toxin that poisoned former Russian agent Sergei Skripal was planted in his daughter's suitcase before she left Moscow, The Telegraph newspaper reported, citing unidentified sources. She announced that London would expel 23 Russian diplomats and take other measures against Moscow. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused London of behaving in a "boorish" way and suggested this was partly due to the problems Britain faces over its planned exit from the European Union next year.
An 83-year-old whistleblower who helped develop Novichok said in an interview published Friday that he thinks the Skripals have little chance of surviving, and that only a few countries in the world have laboratories powerful enough to develop the nerve agent.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov wouldn't reveal how Russia will retaliate, but said the decision will come from President Vladimir Putin, "and there is no doubt that he will choose the option that best reflects Russian interests".
Moscow expects Britain, the United States and their partners to soon take new steps against Russia related to the poisoning in Britain of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, news agency RIA quoted a senior Russian diplomat as saying on Friday.
The escalating worldwide scandal is unfolding as Skripal and his daughter remain in critical condition after exposure to the Soviet-designed chemical Novichok on March 4 in the English city of Salisbury.
Novichok, the type of nerve agent, which Britain says was used in the attack, could not have been manufactured by "non-state actors", Britain's representative, Jonathan Allen, said.
It added: "Our concerns are also heightened against the background of a pattern of earlier irresponsible Russian behaviour".
The Western leaders said the use of the Novichok toxin was a clear breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention and global law.
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Tillerson is the highest ranking U.S. official to visit Nigeria since Donald Trump was inaugurated as president in January 2017. Tillerson visited N'Djamena, Chad's capital, on what was later announced to be the last day of his African visit.
After Trump spoke with May on Tuesday, the White House said the president agreed with her that Russian Federation "must provide unambiguous answers regarding how this chemical weapon, developed in Russian Federation, came to be used in the U.K". May also said her government will cancel all high-level bilateral contacts with Russian Federation, which denies any involvement in the poisoning.
"Fortunately that is not the case, and we will support the United Kingdom, but Russian Federation acts by testing for reactions".
Leaders from the United States, Germany and France joined the U.K.in accusing Russian Federation of being behind the attack in a statement Thursday.
"Frankly Russia should go away, it should shut up", Britain's Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said at a meeting on Thursday, when asked about Russia's response so far.
At home, the British government has been under pressure from lawmakers and media to show it is getting tough on Russian Federation, with some experts saying that despite the rhetoric the response did not go far enough to bother Putin. Both fell ill and are thought to be in serious condition. "It threatens the security of us all", the United States and European leaders said.
Putin, a former KGB spy who is poised to win a fourth term in an election on Sunday, has so far only said publicly that Britain should get to the bottom of what has happened.