Russian Federation expels European Union states' diplomats

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Russia's expulsion of USA diplomats marks a "further deterioration" in relations between the two countries, but like Nauert defended similar moves by Washington and its allies.

According to her, it is clear that the government of Georgia attaches more importance to the interests of outer country that of its own.

"We reserve the right to respond further".

Spokesperson for the Department, Ms Heather Nauert, said she spoke with US ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, and quoted him as explaining the Russia's actions against the U.S. She declined to discuss what additional measures the Trump administration could take.

Moreover, Russia expelled 59 diplomats from 23 countries on Friday.

According to the statements, a total of four Canadian, one Irish, four German, one Croatian, two Spanish and one Norwegian diplomats were to be expelled.


On Monday and Tuesday, 120 Russian diplomats were expelled from 24 countries of Europe along with the US, Canada and Australia.

"Sixty diplomats is tit-for-tat, but shutting down the consulate in St. Petersburg is asymmetrical and escalatory - a mirror response would have been to shut down the Vladivostok consulate".

It also warned that it could take further measures in response if Washington "continued hostile actions" against the Russian embassy and consulates.

On Friday, the UK's ambassador to Moscow was told London had one month to cut its diplomatic contingent in Russia to the same size as the Russian mission in Britain.

"We are considering requests for consular access in line with our obligations under worldwide and domestic law, including the rights and wishes of Yulia Skripal", a Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned earlier this week that Russia would retaliate over the mass expulsion of its diplomats by other countries, including many European Union states, which he blamed on "colossal pressure and colossal blackmail" by the United States.


This is part of the measures imposed following the poisoning of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal. A hospital treating them said Thursday the woman was improving rapidly and was now in stable condition, though her father remained in critical condition. "It was a banned substance that they have used - Novichok".

British Prime Minister Theresa May said that Russian Federation was culpable for the attack and urged allies to join in condemning Moscow for the first known offensive use of a chemical weapon on European soil since World War Two.

Almost two dozen ambassadors from other countries followed suit Friday.

"Its catalyst has been the Skripal affair but, of course, there is so much else behind all this, so much that's gone on over the last few years - with the Russian campaign in Syria, with what's been going in Crimea and Ukraine, that has worsened relations between the West and Russia".

Norway's ambassador to Russia, Leidulv A. Namtvedt, was reportedly scolded by Russian authorities who claim they had nothing to do with the nerve gas attack in Salisbury, England.


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