White House won't say if Putin is a friend or a foe

Pentagon takes away the wind from Putin's sails Image from google images labeled for reuse

Tensions with Moscow are growing before Russia's presidential election Sunday, after a nerve agent attack in Britain on a Russian ex-spy.

The publication of the announcement comes days before Russian Federation votes in a presidential election, with Putin widely tipped to hold on to the post he has occupied twice, most recently since 2012. "There are other elements to Britain's reaction, and you need to give a "mirror" response to that as well". In an unusual joint move, the U.S., France and Germany also pointed the finger at Russian Federation.

Earlier on Friday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would "of course" respond in kind to the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats which was announced by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Russian Federation instead has focused its efforts on a campaign of denial and counterclaim in which officials at times have contradicted each other. Russian Federation and United Kingdom are battling.

Meanwhile, the world body responsible for policing chemical weapons disclosed on Friday that Russian Federation had not declared information about the existence of the novichok group of nerve agents. Most statements have fallen somewhere in between the two extremes.

The Kremlin is also considering its response to the United States after Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions on Russians allegedly involved in interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections and cyber-attacks.

Lavrov said Russian Federation will "of course" expel British diplomats and that he hopes the Skripals recover soon so light can be shed on what happened.

Salisbury District Hospital has also assessed 46 people who came forward expressing health concerns but they were not admitted.

The Skripals were found slumped over on a park bench in the cathedral town of Salisbury, located near the famed ruins of Stonehenge. The pair are hospitalized in critical condition in Salisbury, 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of London. Several areas in the town are also still cordoned off as police continue their investigation.

It comes as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written in the Guardian warning against "hasty judgements", and not to "rush ahead of the evidence".

"The quarrel of the United Kingdom government is not with Russian people - it is not with Russians living here in this country". He suggested that the possibility that the Russians had lost control of the risky nerve agent - which May floated Monday but has since discounted - could not be excluded.

The Labour leader, who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, added: "In my years in Parliament I have seen clear thinking in an global crisis overwhelmed by emotion and hasty judgments too many times".

On Friday, Russia's Investigative Committee said it had launched its own criminal proceedings in connection with the "attempted murder of a Russian citizen, Yulia Skripal" in Salisbury and what it called the "murder" of Nikolai Glushkov in London.

Leaders from the United States, Germany and France joined the U.K.in accusing Russian Federation of being behind the attack in a statement Thursday.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday, Mr Stoltenberg said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has "no reason to doubt the findings and assessments by the British government" which suggest Russian responsibility.

"It threatens the security of us all", they added, without spelling out any possible further reprisals.



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