Britain says its priority is looking after staff in Russia

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Saturday its priority was looking after its staff in Russia, after Moscow expelled 23 British diplomats in a escalating crisis between the two countries over the poisoning of a double agent.

A view shows the building of All-Russian State Library for Foreign Literature, named after Margarita Rudomino, which houses the British Council in Moscow, Russia March 17, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Russia’s move came after Britain’s decision on Thursday to expel 23 Russian diplomats over the nerve toxin attack in the English city of Salisbury that left a former Russian spy and his daughter critically ill in hospital.

Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday that the country’s National Security Council would meet early next week to consider its next steps.

“Our priority today is looking after our staff in Russia and assisting those that will return to the UK,” the Foreign Office said in its statement.

“The onus remains on the Russian state to account for their actions and to comply with their international obligations.”

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