In a statement to Russian press on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow will expel British diplomats “soon,” in response to a similar action taken by London. The tensions between the two countries continue after the UK announced its measures against Moscow following the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Photo Credit: Russian Presidential Executive Office

Russia will expel British diplomats in response to London’s decision to expel 23 Russian officials after the chemical attack on the former Russian double agent and his daughter, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Thursday. The Kremlin’s decision is part of Moscow’s promise to retaliate against the UK’s recent measures against it.

Relations between the two countries continued to be icy as both sides increase their rhetoric against each other.  Writing in the Washington Post, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the incident was “reckless behavior” by Moscow. “All responsible nations share an obligation to take a principled stance against this behavior,” Johnson said. “Britain is striving to uphold the rules on which the safety of every country depends. I hope and believe that our friends will stand alongside us.”

Meanwhile, Russia continues to dismiss the allegations against it and called the UK’s actions “irresponsible.” On Wednesday, the White House said that Washington believes Moscow was behind the attack in Salisbury. “This latest action by Russia fits into a pattern of behavior in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide,” read the US statement.