In Retaliation for the Expulsion of Russian Diplomats from the US, Moscow decided to expel a similar number of US Diplomats from the Russian soil. The Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov conveyed to John Huntsman – the US ambassador to Russia about the retaliatory measures adopted by Moscow after the expulsion of 60 Russian Diplomats by the United States.
As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated at a press conference on Thursday: Russia revokes the approval to the functioning of the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg, and thus expels a similar number of US diplomats from Russia, as a retaliation.
How it Started: UK Expels 23 Russian Diplomats over Poisoning of Sergei Skripal
On Monday, the US decided to expel 60 Russian diplomats from the country in connection with the poisoning of the former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Following the decision by London and Washington, many other countries, including the European nations, decided to support the UK and expel dozens of Russian diplomats.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “strong protest in connection with the decision taken by a number of EU and NATO member to expel Russian diplomats.” Moscow completely rejects the allegations of involvement in the poisoning case of Sergei Skripal – said the spokesman for Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that London’s allegations of Moscow’s involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia are absolutely false and without any concrete evidence.
Many countries of the European Union, as well as other countries that are not part of either NATO or the EU, announced their decision to expel dozens of Russian diplomats, in solidarity with London.
Canada said that as a sign of solidarity with the UK, they will expel four Russian Diplomats. A statement by the Canadian Foreign Ministry said that four Russians diplomatic staff members have been declared Non-Grata, who were basically undercover Russian agents and working under the diplomatic cover.
The German Foreign Ministry also announced the expulsion of four Russian diplomats; the same number will be expelled by France, Poland. Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, while Italy announced the expulsion of two members of the Russian diplomatic staff.
The Czech Republic, along with Lithuania, declared three Russian diplomats person Non- Grata. Croatia, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary and Romania send one Russian diplomat packing home.
Two more diplomats are being sent by Albania, and another by Norway. Both these countries are not part of the EU. The Ukrainian authorities announced the expulsion of 13 Russian diplomats. The expulsion of Russian diplomats was also reported by Australia. As Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull said, his country decided to expel two employees of the Russian diplomatic missions, as solidarity with the UK.