Russia accuses Britain of forcing out its diplomats

Russia has accused the British government of forcing out its diplomats in violation of international law, saying it believes part of the country`s elite has taken a strategic decision to worsen relations with Moscow.

London: Russia has accused the British government of forcing out its diplomats in violation of international law, saying it believes part of the country`s elite has taken a strategic decision to worsen relations with Moscow.

In a series of statements and interviews this week, the Russian embassy in London and its ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, have accused the British government of trying to "degrade" their work by "squeezing out" four Russian diplomats.

The embassy has also raised concerns about what it says is "political or psychological pressure" being applied to Russian nationals visiting Britain by border officials, complaining that London`s behaviour is confrontational and risky.

"Our senior diplomat had to depart the UK last month because his visa was not extended, another diplomat left without replacement this month, (and) two staff members would have to leave for the same reason," a Russian embassy spokesman said in a statement. 

"Such an obvious attempt by the British side to wreck at its own will the established international order ... testifies to a dangerous gamble by the UK in respect of the Russian diplomatic and consular missions."

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