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Russian diplomats expelled from 26 countries as the West unites over Skripal attack

Russian diplomats expelled from 26 countries as the West unites over Skripal attack

In what is thought to be the largest collective expulsion of Russian diplomats in history, at least 26 countries have aligned with the UK in expelling over 100 diplomats following the nerve agent attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal on March 4 in Salisbury.

Russia, who denies any involvement in the attack, has said that it retaliate to the 'provocative gesture.'

EU leaders agreed on Friday that it was highly likely that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack. Following the expulsions, Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK will stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with the EU and Nato. May again blamed Russia for the attack, saying "President Putin's regime is carrying out acts of aggression against our shared values and interests within our continent and beyond."

The countries that have expelled Russian diplomats so far include the US, UK, Ukraine, France, Germany, Poland, Canada, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Albania, Australia, Estonia, Croatia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Sweden, Norway, Macedonia and Moldova. NATO has also expelled seven diplomats.

The United States expelled 60 diplomats alone. In a statement, the White House said: "The United States stands ready to cooperate to build a better relationship with Russia, but this can only happen with a change in the Russian government's behaviour."

The Trump administration also ordered the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle. Within moments of the announcement, the Russian Embassy in the USA tweeted the following, suggesting retaliation will happen sooner rather than later.

 

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