OREANDA-NEWS Russia and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement on the gradual restoration of the number of diplomatic missions since January 2019. This was announced by the Russian Ambassador to the Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko on the TV channel "Russia-24".

"We have reached a principled agreement that somewhere in January the diplomatic staff will be restored both in Moscow and in London," he said. "I am not sure that this will be done for all the staff, but at least half of the Embassy will be restored."

Yakovenko assessed the restoration of diplomatic missions as a positive step in the interaction between the two countries.

Relations between Moscow and London deteriorated sharply after the incident with the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, convicted in Russia for espionage in favor of the UK, and his daughter Julia March 4 in Salisbury. According to the British side, they were exposed to a nerve agent, which was allegedly developed in Russia, on the basis of which London accused Moscow of involvement in the incident. The Russian side categorically rejected all speculations in this regard, pointing out that there were no programs for the development of such a substance either in the USSR or in Russia.

Without presenting any evidence, London expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the country and announced other anti-Russian measures. After that, Moscow took retaliatory steps by sending a similar number of British Embassy employees from Russia, ordering to close the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg and to stop the activities of the British Council in Russia.

In Salisbury on March 4 were poisoned former GRU officer Sergei Skripal, previously convicted in Russia for treason, and his daughter Julia, which provoked an international scandal. London believes that the poisoning of Skripal substance A234 involved the Russian state, Moscow categorically denies it. Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that" the case of the Skripal" crumbles in the eyes of the lack of any evidence of guilt of Russia.