The gulf between Russia and Britain widened on Friday as they cranked up pressure over a nerve agent attack and a suspected murder in Britain that have deepened Western worries about alleged Russian meddling overseas.
Relations between Britain and Russian Federation have been strained since the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006, a killing which a British inquiry said was probably approved by Putin.
"Any reference or mentioning of our President is nothing else but shocking and unpardonable diplomatic misconduct".
"There is a conscious policy decision that we must keep talking to the Russians and even go to Saint Petersburg despite none of the red lines Macron set next to Putin in Versailles (last May) being kept", said a former senior French diplomat.
Britain said it was not enough though, and in 2016, a judge-led inquiry concluded that Putin had probably approved Litvinenko's murder, something Moscow denies.
Lavrov said Russian Federation will "of course" expel British diplomats and that he hopes the Skripals recover soon so light can be shed on what happened.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the nerve agent used in the attack could have been planted in Yulia Skripal's suitcase during a recent trip to Moscow.
His office said a united response with European and transatlantic allies was needed, but quite what France might do remains unclear, especially as Macron has sought to turn a new leaf in relations with Russian Federation since coming to office a year ago.
He warned Mrs May not to "rush way ahead of the evidence" - highlighting the way global crises such as the Iraq War had seen "clear thinking" overwhelmed by "emotion and hasty judgments".
"That does not mean we should resign ourselves to a "new Cold War" of escalating arms spending, proxy conflicts across the globe and a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent", he said.
But he added: "Measures to tackle the oligarchs and their loot would have a far greater impact on Russia's elite than limited tit-for-tat expulsions".
The source of the nerve agent used - which Britain says is Soviet-made Novichok - is unclear.
"If the latter, a connection to Russian mafia-like groups that have been allowed to gain a toehold in Britain can not be excluded", he said. "I hope and believe that our friends will stand alongside us".
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