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More U.K. Diplomats Expelled From Russia, Diplomats Of Other EU States Also To Be Expelled


03/31/2018


More U.K. Diplomats Expelled From Russia, Diplomats Of Other EU States Also To Be Expelled
A day after 60 U.S. diplomats were asked to get out of Russia, the country asked the U.K. to reduce its diplomatic mission in the country to as low as possible. This measure – which was expected, has further heightened tensions with the West.
 
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the media on Friday that within a month, “more than 50” diplomatic and technical staff would have to be cut by the U.K. from its Russian embassy and consulate. She said that the cuts will get the number of U.K. diplomats in the country to be the same as those of Russia in the U.K.
 
U.K. Ambassador Laurie Bristow was earlier summoned by the Foreign Ministry and was informed about the government’s decision. The so called “provocative and absolutely unjustified actions” action of the U.K. to engineer a coordinated international expulsion of nearly 130 Russian diplomats earlier this week was protested against by the foreign ministry. The expulsions of Russian diplomats from multiple countries was in support of the U.K.’s acquisition of Russia being engaged in the attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
 
The envoys from 25 other states were also called in by the foreign ministry and they were informed about Russia’s decision for expulsion of their diplomats from the country in a tit-for-tat measure for those countries coming out in support of the U.K. and expelling Russian diplomats from their country.
 
On Friday, Russia had announced the expulsion of 60 U.S. diplomats from the country and the shutting down of the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg in a response of the action by U.S. President Donald Trump of expelling the same number of Russian diplomats earlier in the week and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle.
 
These are all linked to the alleged use of nerve gas for the attempted murder of former double agent in the U.K. – allegations that Russia has vehemently denied all along. Through the expulsions, Kremlin has attempted to signal the rest of Europe that its tensions are with the U.K. and the U.S. only and not with Europe in general.
 
Russia has warned of more measures if there are any more “hostile actions” against Russian diplomats and consular activities in the U.S. while giving up to April 5 for U.S. diplomats ot leave Russia.
 
“There is no justification for this response” because Russia was “responsible for that horrific attack on the British citizen and his daughter,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in Washington. Nauert did not rule out further actions against Russia.
 
The confrontation “looks not so much like a cold war than a fight without rules,” said Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian upper house of parliament. “One in which the bully himself complains when he gets a taste of his own medicine.”
 
(Source:www.bloombegr.com)


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