Troubling Update on Poisoned Ex-Spy, Daughter

'They may never recover fully,' says Theresa May
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 26, 2018 1:59 PM CDT
People stand in a hallway outside the closed Russian consulate Monday in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – British prime minister Theresa May says former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter may never recover from a nerve-agent attack that left them in critical condition. May says "their condition is unlikely to change in the near future, and they may never recover fully." May also told lawmakers that more than 130 people in the English city of Salisbury may have been exposed to the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals, per the AP. More than 50 people have been assessed in hospitals, and a police officer left seriously ill after the March 4 attack was released from the hospital last week. The UK blames Russia for the attack, but Moscow denies responsibility. On Monday about 20 countries, including the United States, joined Britain in expelling Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning.

Russia, not surprisingly, is threatening to expel western diplomats in retaliation, reports the Guardian. “Russia will not allow itself to be beaten up, the harder they try to intimidate us, the tougher our response will be,” said Russian lawmaker Alexei Chepa. The US expelled 60 diplomats and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. A sign on the glass door of the office in downtown Seattle said in Russian that the office was closed and would not be accepting new passport applications, per the AP. The move followed the closure last year of the Russian consulate in San Francisco. In Seattle, three people who showed up seeking new passports walked away in frustration. One young man, who declined to give his name, said: "The West Coast now has no consulates whatsoever, which means the closest one is in Houston. ... It's a huge inconvenience."

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