Numerous European Nations Ready to Expel Russian Diplomats Over Ex-Spy Poisoning

Lucy Bush
March 28, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has warned that the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter must have "consequences" and Stoltenberg will hold a news conference in Brussels at 3:30 pm (1330 GMT) to make an announcement on "further decisions", the alliance said in a brief statement. "When one or two diplomats are asked to leave this or that country, with apologies being whispered into our ears, we know for certain that this is a result of colossal pressure and colossal blackmail, which is Washington's chief instrument in the worldwide scene".

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the mass expulsions were "a blow from which Russian intelligence will need many years to recover".

In yet another victory for Theresa May's efforts to get the world to turn on Russian Federation, he said today: "This will send a clear message to Russian Federation that there are costs and consequences for their unacceptable pattern of behaviour".

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In the toughest action that President Donald Trump has taken against Russia since coming to office, the United States has said it will expel 60 Russians, including 12 intelligence officers from Russia's mission to the UN headquarters in NY. Moscow, though, has repeatedly denied involvement. "We'll respond, have no doubt".

"Russia has the potential to be a partner with Europe".

Last week, following an European Union summit in Brussels, the U.K., Germany, and France reaffirmed that the Russian state was responsible for the nerve agent poisoning of Skripal and his daughter.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Russia "strongly protests" diplomats expulsion by the United States and 14 European countries over the ex-spy case, vowing to retaliate.

Britain and Russian Federation have expelled 23 of each other's diplomats since the March 4 attack, which the United Kingdom blames on Moscow.

On Monday, European Council President Donald Tusk announced in Varna, Bulgaria, that 14 European Union (EU) member states had chose to expel Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.

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"Today's actions by our allies clearly demonstrate that we all stand shoulder to shoulder in sending the strongest signal to the Kremlin that Russian Federation can not continue to flout worldwide law and threaten our security".

Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the move and said it sent a strong message to Moscow that it can not ignore worldwide law.

Ryabkov said the USA move "will be met with a tough response" but he did not elaborate.

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