Vladimir Putin will be surprised that Theresa May has successfully achieved an international response following the poisoning of a former spy.
Australia is the latest country to expel Russian diplomats over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. More than 100 Russian spies are being expelled by more than 20 countries, including 60 from the US. Russia has said it will respond harshly.
Former Conservative MP and Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "I think [Putin will] be surprised, as I was, as many were by Theresa May’s success...in getting together such an international response.
"That will have hurt him because he’s an ex intelligence man and it’s intelligence people who are being expelled all round the world from various embassies."
He claims "what we have seen over the last two or three years is Putin quite deliberately using every means available to him to try to destabilize countries around the world and to try and create the impression that somehow he’s more import a world figure than he actually is.
"Russia is an important country and anybody who runs Russia is an important figure but frankly Russia is a declining power and is not going to be reversing that decline because of Putin’s behaviour in fact the decline may exacerbate.
"The international community is saying in an unprecedented way if you behave like this it won’t just be one country you can pick off at a time you are going to get an international response to what is an international crime."
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