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UK Thanks Georgia for Expelling Russian Diplomat Over Skripal Case

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, Aprl 2
(TBILISI) - The Great Britain has welcomed the decision of the Government of Georgia to expel one Russian diplomat over the high-profile case of a Russian spy and his daughter who were found poisoned in UK last month, which tensed British-Russia relations much. The decision of the Government of Georgia came after the United States, NATO, and around 20 European countries expelled Russian diplomats as the UK accuses Russia of using a chemical weapon on its territory.

“Our partners are standing next to us and Russia should realise that its violation of international law will not remain unpunished”, UK Ambassador Justin McKenzie Smith stated a tweeted his gratitude in Georgian.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry announced late on last Thursday that the country expelled one of 10 Russian diplomats serving at the Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi, as Georgia and Russia have no direct diplomatic ties since the Russia-Georgia 2008 war and Switzerland is mediating diplomatic issues between the two countries.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the use of chemical weapons on the territory of the United Kingdom that caused grave human suffering to three individuals and posed serious threat to the life and health of others. This represents a serious challenge to common security,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry stated.

“We condemn the use of chemical weapons on UK's territory and in solidarity with the UK’s position declare employee of the Russian Federation Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi as a not acceptable person and request to leave within seven days,” the Foreign Ministry stated.

Col Sergei Skripal,66, is a former Russian military intelligence agent who sold secrets to the UK secret intelligence. He was imprisoned in Russia but was later sent to UK as part of a spy swap in 2010.

He was found slumped over on a shopping centre bench on March 4, alongside his unconscious 33-year-old daughter Yulia Skripal.

British experts claim that a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used to poison them. They say extremely dangerous secret toxins known as Novicho were used against Skripal.

The two remain in hospital in critical condition.

The UK says the attack was "very likely” to have been carried out by Russia and has prompted the biggest crisis in UK-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War.

Russia denies responsibility for the attack and says that they also plan to expel British diplomats.