Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that he would be expelling two Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK
US President Donald Trump ordered 60 Russian diplomats his country considers spies to leave the country in response to the nerve-agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom (UK) and closed Russia’s consulate in Seattle, senior administration officials said Monday. Further, fourteen European Union countries announced they were expelling a total of 30 Russian diplomats in a coordinated international response, which is the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War. Australia also announced that it would expel two Russian diplomats over the UK spy attack.
The expulsions are the most aggressive US move against Russia under Trump, who has sought a closer personal relationship with President Vladimir Putin while at the same time introducing new sanctions against people and entities with ties to the Kremlin.
The officials called the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, an attack on America’s closest ally and a reckless attempt to murder a British citizen on British soil. They said there are more than 100 Russian intelligence agents undercover as diplomats in the US and described the number as unacceptable.
In total, 100 Russian diplomats are being expelled from 18 countries, reported Reuters. The report added that this was the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War. According to Reuters, British Prime Minister Theresa May, welcoming the show of solidarity, said 18 countries had announced plans to expel Russian officials. Those included 14 European Union countries.
Source – Business Standard