Russia to expel British defense official as retaliatory measure

Russia has announced that it has decided to expel a British defense attache working at the British embassy in Moscow. It says the step is in retaliation for a similar move that Britain made earlier this month.

The British government said on May 8 that it had decided to expel a Russian defense attache from the country. It claimed that the person was an undeclared intelligence officer. Britain also announced that it plans to remove diplomatic premises status from several Russian properties in the country. It said it believes the sites have been used for intelligence purposes.

The Russian foreign ministry announced the retaliatory measure when it summoned a representative of the British Embassy in Moscow on Thursday. The ministry told the representative that it strongly protested against the "unfriendly and groundless decision" that the British government made.

The ministry added, "Our reaction to the unfriendly anti-Russian actions of the British side announced on 8 May is not exhausted by this measure." It warned that other retaliatory steps will be taken.