In one of the worst diplomatic stand-off after the Cold War, Moscow has told Britain that it should cut 50 more diplomatic and technical staff in Russia in the wake of recent spy-poisoning row. British Ambassador Laurie Bristow had been summoned by the Russian Foreign Ministry and been asked to cut his contingent to the same size as of Russian mission in Britain in one month.
Britain had blamed Russia over the use of military grade Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent for the poisoning of a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. Britain had highlighted the fact that it was the first use of the deadly nerve agent by Russia after World War II. Russian side had completely rubbished all the allegations and blamed Britain for spreading anti-Russia hysteria and the West for plotting to isolate Russia.
Britain has termed the whole move as regrettable. Britain will have to decide how to make the suitable cuts with an embassy and an ambassador’s residence in Moscow. There is also a Consulate in the city of Yekaterinburg. Russia had already expelled 23 UK diplomats and ordered the closure of British Consulate in St. Petersburg earlier.