December 28, 2018 / 1:56 PM / 3 months ago

Russia and Britain to start returning diplomats in January -TASS

MOSCOW, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Moscow and London have reached an agreement to return some staff to their respective embassies after they expelled dozens of diplomats early this year, TASS news agency reported on Friday, citing the Russian envoy to the UK.

The British Foreign Office and the Russian Foreign Ministry were not immediately available for comment.

“We have reached a general agreement that we will start to restore diplomatic staff in Moscow and in London some time in January,” TASS quoted Russia’s ambassador to London Alexander Yakovenko as saying in a televised interview.

“I am not sure that this would happen to all employees but at least half the staff would be in place,” he said.

The United Kingdom expelled 23 Russian diplomats over accusations the Kremlin was behind a nerve toxin attack in March on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury.

Russia, which denies any involvement in the poisoning, sent home the same number of British embassy workers in retaliation. (Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Additional reporting by Michael Holden in London; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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