Russia hit back at Britain today for expelling a diplomat from its London embassy for spying, saying Moscow had been forced to respond in kind for the ''groundless'' move.
The mutual diplomatic expulsions between Russia and Britain are the first since 2007, when Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko was killed in London with a rare radioactive isotope.
"The British side took an unfriendly step the other day, having groundlessly declared one of our colleagues in our embassy in London persona non grata," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement, according to The Guardian.
The statement from the foreign minister appeared on the website of the Russian ministry of foreign affairs, and said that Russia was left with no choice but to take a corresponding measure in response to the UK's actions.
The statement did not make any mention of exactly what kind of measure was planned, but London said that the Russian government has already made a request for one of its diplomats to be removed from Moscow. London as also said that this diplomat has now left the UK, and that the Russian diplomat has likewise left London already.
This latest diplomatic spat between the two nations has only undermined the efforts of the British government to build a stronger and better relationship between itself and Russia, Discountvouchers.co.uk reports.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea