Britain on Wednesday announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats from the United Kingdom due to the recent nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced to Parliament that not only would the diplomats be sent out of the country, but high-level contacts between the two governments would also cease, and a planned visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was canceled, the Washington Post reports.
"It is not in our national interest to break off all dialogue between the United Kingdom and the Russian federation. But in the aftermath of this appalling act against our country this relationship cannot be the same," May said in Parliament.
May on Monday demanded an explanation from the Russian government for the nerve agent attacks, but did not receive one by the deadline set for midnight on Tuesday.
"Instead they have treated the use of a military grade nerve agent in Europe with sarcasm, contempt and defiance," May said Wednesday.
The 23 diplomats were considered by the U.K. government to be "undeclared intelligence officers."
The U.K. has also called for a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address the matter.
In a phone call with May on Tuesday, President Donald Trump reiterated America's support for the United Kingdom in facing Russia over the reckless and illegal attack.