Russia claims Aeroflot plane was searched in London 'by UK authorities'

by Jared Lewis April 2, 2018, 6:09
Russia claims Aeroflot plane was searched in London 'by UK authorities'

Russian officials insisted the jet was targeted in connection with the diplomatic crisis over the Skripal poisoning and threatened to take similar action against British airlines.

Russia's Ministry of Transport said on Saturday that Moscow would demand an official explanation from Britain for why a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane had been subjected to a search at Heathrow airport on Friday.

In an ongoing row between Russian Federation and the United Kingdom the Kremlin ordered a reduction of the number of diplomats in Moscow to match those in London.

On Saturday, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that meant Britain would have to cut "a little over 50" of its diplomats in Russian Federation.

The row intensified on Friday after the Kremlin ordered Britain to reduce the number of diplomats in Moscow down to the same amount that Russian Federation has in London.

According to Russia's Aeroflot airline, British authorities searched the SU2583 jet at London's Heathrow Airport on Friday without any explanation, in violation of the global practices.

"Once these checks were carried out the plane was allowed to carry on with its onward journey". The Embassy has sent a diplomatic note demanding the British side to provide explanations of the incident.

Tonight marks the deadline for 60 USA embassy staff to leave Russia as part of Moscow's policy of expelling foreign diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to countries across the world sending home Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed in Salisbury on March 4 after being infected with the Novichok nerve agent which police now think was planted on their front door.

It is worth mentioning that Britain has blamed Russian Federation for the attack on former spy and his daughter from poison.

In a statement, the force said: "We are aware of a story circulating on social media".

"Border Force and Customs officers have searched the aircraft that was conducting the Aeroflot flights 2582 / 2583, Moscow - London - Moscow".

The Kremlin has hit back with tit-for-tat measures, telling Britain it must cut just over 50 more of its diplomatic and technical staff in Russian Federation.

Ambassadors from a number of other nations, including Germany, Italy, Poland and France, have also been summoned by Moscow's foreign ministry.

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