QUITO, Ecuador – A stern warning from Britain on the eve of Ecuador’s much-anticipated decision on Julian Assange’s asylum request led its foreign minister to accuse Britain Wednesday of threatening to storm his nation’s London embassy to arrest the WikiLeaks founder.

Foreign Minister Ricard Patino said Britain had earlier in the day issued “a written threat that it could assault our embassy” if Assange is not handed over.

Patino also said he would announce on Thursday morning whether Ecuador would grant the request of the secret-spilling former Australian hacker, who took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy on June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden. Assange faces questioning there for alleged sexual misconduct.

As news broke of the warning, a number of police officers were seen reinforcing Scotland Yard’s presence outside the embassy in a tony London neighborhood near the Harrods department store.

Britain’s Foreign Office issued a statement later Wednesday citing a 1987 British law it says permits the revocation of diplomatic status of a building if the foreign power occupying it “ceases to use land for the purposes of its mission or exclusively for the purposes of a consular post.”

Under international law, diplomatic posts are considered the territory of the foreign nation.

Patino said the missive including the veiled threat was delivered to his country’s Foreign Ministry in writing and verbally to its ambassador in London on Wednesday. The cited was Britain’s 1987 Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act.

Patino said Ecuador “rejects in the most energetic terms the explicit threat of the official British communication.”

The Foreign Office statement did not elaborate on Britain’s intentions if Assange were to be granted political asylum.

“We have an obligation to extradite Mr. Assange and it is only right that we give Ecuador (the) full picture,” the statement said, before adding: “We are still committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution.”