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LONDON, July 16 — Britain’s relations with Russia deteriorated further today as the British government announced that it would expel four Russian diplomats in retaliation for Russia’s refusal to extradite the key suspect in the deadly poisoning of a former K.G.B. agent, Alexander V. Litvinenko, in London last year.
Although both sides expelled diplomats in 1996 on charges of spying, the latest turn of events seems far more serious, experts in Russia’s relationship with the West said today
Russia said the decision was "immoral", would prompt retaliation, and could only "entail the most serious consequences for Russian-British relations," according to a foreign ministry spokesman.