Russian Federation has been stockpiling deadly nerve agent Novichok 'for 10 years'

Kommersant  Yuri Senatorov via Reuters FILE

Russian Federation also revoked permission for the United Kingdom to open a general consulate in St. Petersburg, and the British Council, a cultural and educational organization, has been ordered to stop its activities in the country.

It ordered the diplomats to leave within a week, and summoned Britain's ambassador to Russia, Laurie Bristow, for a meeting Saturday at the ministry in Moscow.

Johnson said Britain's National Security Council will meet later this week to decide "what further measures, if any" may be taken, and that the government may decide to target Russian wealth in Britain.

And the ministry had also warned Britain that "if further unfriendly actions are taken towards Russia, the Russian side retains the right to take other answering measures".

Relations between London and Moscow have crashed to a post-Cold War low over the Salisbury attack, the first known offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War Two. "It is Russian Federation that is in flagrant breach of worldwide law and the Chemical Weapons Convention".

Russian President Vladimir Putin says it is nonsense to think that Moscow poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who are critically ill in a British hospital.

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Russian Federation has complained that Britain has failed to provide any evidence of its involvement in the Salisbury attack and has said it is shocked and bemused by the allegations.

Russian officials have strenuously argued against this in recent days.

"We actually have evidence within the last 10 years that Russian Federation has not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purposes of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling Novichok", Johnson told the BBC. "But we are not taking it off the agenda, joint efforts are possible".

Russian Federation has said is open to cooperation with Britain, but has refused Britain's demands to explain how Novichok, a nerve agent developed by the Soviet military, was used against the Skripals.

Britain's government said the move was expected, and that it doesn't change the British conviction that Russian Federation was behind the poisoning of ex-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury.

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