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New Cold War Approaching

Issued: 2018-03-29

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 file photo, police officers stand outside the house of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England. British police say they believe a Russian ex-spy and his daughter first came into contact with a military-grade nerve agent at their front door. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon says in a statement Wednesday, March 28 police are now focusing their investigation in and around Sergei Skripal's home. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the nerve agent attack on an Russian ex-spy in Britain (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the world is approaching a situation "similar" to the Cold War as tensions rise between the United States and Russia.

But Guterres said Thursday it's different in two important ways: There are more players in conflicts than during the two-superpower era and fewer communication channels set up to keep problems from escalating. He told reporters Thursday he is "very concerned."

The U.S. other Western nations and NATO are expelling more than 150 Russian diplomats whom they consider spies, including a dozen posted to Russia's U.N. mission, over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England.

Russia said Thursday it will expel an equal number of diplomats from those nations.

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9:10 p.m.

Russia's foreign minister says Moscow will expel the same number of diplomats from the nations that have expelled Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain.

Sergey Lavrov said U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, where he was given notice that Russia is responding quid pro quo to the U.S. decision to order 60 Russian diplomats out.

Lavrov said Moscow will also retaliate to the U.S. decision to shut the Russian consulate in Seattle by closing the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg.

Lavrov said the same approach will be applied to other nations that expelled Russian diplomats this week.

Two dozen countries, including the U.S., many EU nations and NATO, have ordered more than 150 Russian diplomats out this week in a show of solidarity with Britain.

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8:15 p.m.

Russia's Foreign Ministry says Britain, the U.S., the Czech Republic and Sweden all have researched a nerve agent that London said was used to poison an ex-Russian spy in Britain.

The ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Thursday that the Western research into the class of nerve agent called Novichok was reflected in numerous open source documents of NATO members.

Britain has accused Russia of involvement in the March 4 poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, saying they were poisoned with the Soviet-designed agent called Novichok, the accusations Russia has fiercely denied. Britain and its allies have dismissed previous Moscow claims that they possessed that type of nerve agent.

Zakharova accused London of failing to provide evidence and stonewalling Russian demands for access to materials in the probe.

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