June 24, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expels seven Russian diplomats over United Kingdom spy poisoning

28 March 2018, 12:54 | Simon Arnold

Technology by Mahmood Idrees | Published

Technology       by Mahmood Idrees | Published

The US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance followed suit announcing on Tuesday it was expelling seven diplomats from Russia's mission at alliance headquarters in Brussels and blocking the appointment of three others, thus cutting the size of the mission to 20 people from 30.

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". "This will bring the maximum size down to twenty", Stoltenberg said.

Mr Skripal and his daughter were left critically ill following the Salisbury attack, with the PM saying doctors have indicated their condition is unlikely to change in the near future and they "may never recover fully".

On Monday, the US, Germany, Canada and a number of other nations expelled a scores of Moscow diplomats, a move Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described as "blackmail".

The permanent size of the Russian mission has now been cut from 30 to 20 people, according to the Guardian.

Skripal, a Russian military intelligence officer imprisoned by Moscow for passing on information about Russian agents in various European countries, came to Britain in a 2010 spy swap.

Mrs May has hailed the "unprecedented series of expulsions" of Russian diplomats across the globe in the wake of the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

"We'll respond, have no doubt!" Moscow, though, has repeatedly denied involvement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today accused Washington of applying "colossal pressure" to achieve the massive, coordinated global response to the poisoning.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, hinted the Kremlin would respond with tit-for-tat expulsions, saying Russian Federation would proceed from the "principle of reciprocity".

The Prime Minister added: "It is also important to note that our partners are not only taking these measures out of solidarity with the United Kingdom, but also because they recognise the threat that these Russian networks pose to the security of their own countries and the pattern of Russian aggression which has affected us all".

Amid the coordinated effort of the West, the U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats and intelligence officials, and the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle.

Dublin said it will expel one Russian diplomat, while Chisinau announced it had asked three diplomats to leave the country.

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