Russia expels envoys from 23 nations as spy crisis escalates
‘ The attempted assassination of two people on British soil, for which there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable,’ a spokeswoman for UK’s foreign office said ◗
Moscow, March 30: The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that it had summoned the heads of missions from 23 countries earlier to tell them that some of their diplomats had to leave the country.
Germany and Poland each said that Russia was expelling four of their diplomats. Among the other countries that had similarly been told to pull envoys were the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland and Lithuania.
The Russian foreign ministry also gave Britain a month to cut its number of diplomatic staff in Russia to the same number as Russia has in Britain.
The moves are in retaliation to a coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats by Britain and its allies over a nerve agent attack against former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.
“This is certainly not a surprise,” Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said through a spokeswoman, referring to Moscow’s expulsion of two of the country’s diplomats.
In Britain, the government remained adamant that Russia was in the wrong.
“Russia is in flagrant breach of international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention and actions by countries around the world have demonstrated the depth of international concern,” a spokeswoman for the Britain’s foreign office said.
■ PUTIN SAID that Sarmat weighs 200 metric tons.
■ IT CAN carry over 10- 15 nuclear warheads.
■ THE WARHEADS are capable of dodging missile defences.
■ MASS PRODUCTION from 2020.
Moscow, March 30: Russia has successfully tested its latest intercontinental ballistic missile, the country’s military said on Friday.
The Defence Ministry said the launch from Plesetsk in northwestern Russia tested the Sarmat missile’s performance in the initial stage of its flight.
Sarmat is intended to replace the Sovietdesigned Voyevoda, the world’s heaviest ICBM that is known as “Satan” in the West.
Presenting Sarmat and an array of other nuclear weapons earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin said that they can’t be intercepted.
Putin said that Sarmat weighs 200 metric tons and has a higher range than Satan, allowing it to fly over the North or the South Poles and strike targets anywhere in the world.
He added that Sarmat can carry over 10- 15 nuclear warheads, which are more powerful than the ones on Satan and it is capable of flying at supersonic speed.
The Russian president also said the new ICBM accelerates faster than its predecessor, making it harder for the enemy to intercept in its most vulnerable phase after the launch.
He also said Sarmat could carry an array of warheads capable of dodging missile defenses.