U.S. expels 60 Russian diplomats over United Kingdom spy poisoning case

Marsha Scott
March 27, 2018

Six European countries once ruled by Moscow on Monday said they will expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain over the poisoning of a former Russian spy.

Rabat- US President Donald Trump has ordered his administration to expel 60 Russian diplomats, including members of Russia's mission in the United Nations.

Russia regrets the decision by Western governments to expel Russian diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Britain and Moscow's response will be based on the principle of reciprocity, the Kremlin spokesman said on Monday.

Germany has expelled four Russian diplomats, while France says it is also expelling four.

- CZECH REPUBLIC, LITHUANIA: Three Russian diplomats expelled from each country.

The UK has already expelled 23 Russian diplomats, accusing them of being undeclared intelligence agents, which led Russia to expel the same number of British diplomats.

The U.S. actions came as more than a dozen nations, including those in Russia's neighborhood, were expected to announce similar steps to reduce Russia's diplomatic presence in their countries or other actions to punish Moscow.

'We took those actions to demonstrate our unbreakable solidarity with the United Kingdom and to impose serious consequences on Russian Federation for its constant violations of global standards, ' the declaration said. Ukraine, which is not an European Union member, is to expel 13 Russian diplomats.

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President Donald Trump's decision to kick 60 Russian diplomats out of the US didn't happen in isolation.

The pair were found slumped on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury and remain critically ill in hospital.

Washington has made a decision to expel at least 60 Russian officials working with USA diplomatic passports, as well as to close Russia's consulate general in Seattle. The US will also order the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle.

Skripal's poisoning, alleged to have employed the Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent Novichok, is the first known offensive use of a nerve toxin in Europe since World War Two.

Forty-eight of the diplomats work at the Russian embassy and a dozen at the United Nations in NY.

Williamson also said he was surprised and disappointed by reports about European Union proposals to freeze Britain out of the Galileo satellite navigation project as part of negotiations over Britain's exit from the bloc next year. "Naturally, such a hostile move on part of this group of countries won't go unanswered", the Ministry said.

The United States has meanwhile chose to expel 60 Russian "spies".

Moscow will expel at least 60 United States diplomats in response to Washington's move which it linked to double agent Skripal's poisoning, Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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