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U.K. expelling 23 Russian diplomats over spy spat

British Prime Minister Theresa May May said the Russian diplomats have a week to leave Britain.

Members of the emergency services in hazard suits

Members of the emergency services in hazard suits afix the tent over the bench where a man and a woman were found on March 4 in critical condition at The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, southern England, on March 8, 2018, Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/BEN STANSALL

LONDON — Britain is expelling 23 Russian diplomats after the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy — the single biggest such expulsion since the Cold War.

Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons on Wednesday that Russia has expressed "disdain" for Britain's wish for an explanation into the attempted murder of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. She says that Russia's actions "represent an unlawful use of force."

May said the Russian diplomats have a week to leave Britain.

She also announced a range of economic and diplomatic measures, including a decision to cancel all high-level bilateral contacts with Russia and to ask the royal family not attend the soccer World Cup in Russia.

Russia has denied responsibility in the March 4 attack on the Skripals.

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