British diplomats, who had been declared personae non gratae by Russian authorities as a response to the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the UK, have left the Embassy in Moscow, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
The remaining embassy staff said goodbye to their departing colleagues with applause.
The UK has decided to banish Russian diplomats as part of anti-Russia sanctions which were declared by the UK Prime Minister Theresa May who explained her decision by accusing Moscow of poisoning the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. The Russian Foreign Ministry has denied all the allegations and demanded the UK Foreign Office permit a joint investigation into the case. It has announced that 23 UK diplomats would be expelled from Russia, while the operation of the British Council will be ceased in the country.
Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko has commented on the current situation, saying that Britain has not provided any proof of Russia's alleged involvement in the nerve agent attack.
He has suggested that the samples of the so-called Novichok nerve gas could have already been in the laboratory located just miles away from Salisbury.
The former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious in a shopping center in Salisbury on March 4. Both of them remain in critical condition.