Over 100 Russian diplomats expelled from 18 countries over ex-spy’s poisoning
Europe, News, US
March 26, 2018
U.S., EU States expel dozens of Russian diplomats over poisoning, Moscow vows retaliation
Nearly a hundred Russian diplomats in western countries alleged to be spies are being told to return to Moscow in at least 18 countries.
The United States, Canada, several EU countries and Ukraine announced diplomatic measures against Russia on Monday, 26 March, in response to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent with military-grade nerve agent in the English town of Salisbury.
“Today’s extraordinary international response by our allies stands in history as the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers ever and will help defend our shared security,” the UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson tweeted. “Russia cannot break international rules with impunity.”
The US has ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials who Washington says are spies, including a dozen based at the United Nations.
EU members Germany, France and Poland are each to expel four Russian diplomats with intelligence agency backgrounds. Lithuania and the Czech Republic said they would expel three with Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands expelling two each. Ukraine, which is not an EU member, is to expel 13 Russian diplomats, and Canada four.
European Council president Donald Tusk confirmed that 14 EU states were expelling Russian diplomats in the wake of the nerve agent attack.
Earlier, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats in the wake of the poisoning, and Russia responded by dismissing the same number of British diplomats.
The officials called the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England an attack on America’s closest ally and a reckless attempt to murder a British citizen on British soil. The 66-year-old and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, remain in critical condition after they were exposed to a military grade nerve agent.
How countries responded against Russia over nerve agent attack
Britain – Expelled 23 Russians alleged to have worked as spies under diplomatic cover. Promised to freeze any Russian state assets that “may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents”.
United States – Expelling 60 Russians, including 12 intelligence officers from Russia’s mission to UN headquarters in New York. Closing Russian consulate in Seattle.
Canada – Expelling four Russians alleged to have worked as spies. Denying three applications for Russian diplomatic staff.
France – Expelling four diplomats
Germany – Expelling four diplomats
Poland – Expelling four diplomats
Italy – Expelling two diplomats
Lithuania – Expelling three diplomats
Czech Republic – Expelling three diplomats
Netherlands – Expelling two diplomats
Denmark – Expelling two diplomats
Latvia – Expelling one diplomat
Estonia – Expelling one diplomat
Finland – Expelling one diplomat
Ukraine – Expelling 13 Russian diplomats