Mr Lavrov, who reiterated that Russia will expel British diplomats, also said Gavin Williamson “lacks education” after the Defence Secretary said yesterday Russia should “go away and shut up”.
He continued to insist the UK should work with Moscow on investigating the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, which it denies having any involvement in.
And Moscow has also responded angrily to new US sanctions, saying it would expand its “blacklist” of Americans.
Donald Trump’s Treasury has slapped sanctions on 19 Russian citizens and five entities for election meddling and cyber attacks.
And the administration has warned of further punishment to come as relations between Russia and the west plunge.
Meanwhile, a tit-for-tat reaction is expected to Theresa May’s decision to kick out 23 diplomats who she said were undeclared intelligence officers.
Speaking at an event in Moscow on Thursday night, Vladimir Putin said Russia was a “proud” nation “and will be in the future, too”.
Mr Putin had a meeting with his security council on Thursday to consider UK-Russia relations.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned Moscow will expel British diplomats “soon” and suggested that the “provocation with Skripal” was an attempt to distract attention from the Brexit process.
Mr Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the final decision on retaliatory measures “will, of course, be made by the Russian president”, adding: “There is no doubt that he will choose the variant that best of all corresponds to the interests of the Russian Federation.”
In a demonstration of the west’s unity, Mrs May and Mr Trump, along with Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron, issued a joint statement endorsing the Prime Minister’s conclusion that it was “highly likely” Russia was behind the attack on the Skripals.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose response to the attack has led to criticism from some on his backbenches, said “the evidence points towards Russia” being responsible – but the possibility of gangsters being behind the attack rather than the Kremlin could not be excluded.
He warned Mrs May not to “rush way ahead of the evidence” – highlighting the way international crises such as the Iraq War had seen “clear thinking” overwhelmed by “emotion and hasty judgments”.
Writing in the Guardian he warned against a “new Cold War” of “escalating arms spending, proxy conflicts across the globe and a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent”.
Confirming Labour’s support for Mrs May’s actions, Mr Corbyn said: “We agree with the Government’s action in relation to Russian diplomats.”
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.”
Mr Corbyn said that Mrs May was right on Monday to identify two possibilities for the source of the nerve agent – either Russia authorised the attack or had lost control of the Novichok substance.
“If the latter, a connection to Russian mafia-like groups that have been allowed to gain a toehold in Britain cannot be excluded,” he said.
But senior shadow cabinet member Sir Keir Starmer gave his unqualified support to Mrs May’s approach, telling BBC1’s Question Time: “I think it is very important that we support the action the Prime Minister laid out on Wednesday as a response to this unprovoked attack.
“This is not the first time, it needs to be called out – no ifs and no buts – and we need strong action as set out by the Prime Minister on Wednesday.”
Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, who heads up the national counter-terror police network which is leading the Salisbury investigation, appealed for anyone with information about the “despicable” and “appalling” attack to come forward.