UK-Russia tensions at their highest ahead of elections and World Cup

The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury, the PM says. Theresa May said the diplomats, who have a week to leave, were identified as “undeclared intelligence officers”. She also revoked an invitation to Russia’s foreign minister, and said the Royal Family would not attend the Fifa World Cup later this year.

Russia has nothing to do with the alleged poisoning of Russian ex-double agent Sergei Skripal, the Kremlin said. Moscow will not accept any groundless threats or ultimatums, it added. “Moscow’s position [on the Skripal case] is well known… Moscow had nothing to do with the incident that took place in the UK,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.