THERESA May has said she will consider the “full range” of options against Russia but whatever she does is likely to result in a robust response from Moscow.

Possible actions include:

*expelling some of the 58 Russian diplomats based in the UK;

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*imposing more economic sanctions;

*creating travel bans and visa restrictions;

*introducing a British equivalent of the US Magnitsky Act, which would enable the freezing of assets of Russian individuals connected to human rights abuses;

*cancelling the UK broadcast licence of Russian state broadcaster RT, formerly known as Russia Today;

*withdrawing British dignitaries from this summer’s World Cup in Russia and

*even mounting a cyber-attack.

Moscow has already made clear that any punitive actions by Britain will lead to a tit-for-tat retaliation. “The British side should be aware of that," said the Russian Embassy.

Indeed, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, has warned: "Not a single British mass media outlet will work in our country if they close Russia Today."

One key factor for the UK Government will be the level of international support for its actions.

While Rex Tillerson, the now former US Secretary of State, gave fulsome support to the UK and its claims of Russian involvement, the White House has been rather less supportive.

Donald Trump suggested he believed the British evidence was “fact” and in a transatlantic phonecall to the Prime Minister insisted the US would be with the UK “all the way”. But the support seemed somewhat half-hearted.

While France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel have expressed solidarity with Britain, they have not directly pointed the finger at Russia.

The Baltic states also expressed their backing for Britain with Latvia urging Nato and the EU to agree on retaliatory action.

Today, the UK will brief the North Atlantic Council, Nato's main decision-making body.

At Westminster, Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, called for an EU-wide boycott of this summer's World Cup in Russia, saying: "Do it collectively. That would really hurt them. The World Cup would not be viable. It would make it pointless."

None of the UK’s EU allies has so far echoed his call.