Trump encourages other countries to join expulsion of Russian diplomats

Trump encourages other countries to join expulsion of Russian diplomats

Trump encourages other countries to join expulsion of Russian diplomats

The United States said earlier on Monday it would expel 60 Russian diplomats, joining governments across Europe in punishing the Kremlin for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that they have blamed on Moscow. It even surpasses the 51 Russian diplomats expelled by President George W. Bush in 2001. In addition to the U.S., the other non-EU countries to take this move are Canada, Ukraine Albania, Norway, Australia and Macedonia.

Mike Carpenter, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense with responsibility for the Russian Federation portfolio until January 2017, called the expulsions an important step, but more symbolic if not followed up with more consequential actions.

Russian Federation denies responsibility and has vowed a "tough response" to the expulsions.

"The attack was part of a pattern of reckless and deliberate conduct by the Russian state that constitutes a growing threat to worldwide security, global non-proliferation rules against the use of chemical weapons, the rights of other sovereign nations and the worldwide rules-based order that underpins them", said Bishop.

"The strong language contrasted with Trump's warm words of last week, when he overrode his advisors' concerns and congratulated Putin on his election win".

In turn, Germany, Canada, Poland and France have chose to expel four diplomats each, Lithuania and the Czech Republic - three each, Australia, Albania, Denmark, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands - two each, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Finland, Croatia, Sweden and Estonia - one each, while Ukraine made a decision to send away 13 Russian diplomats. We don't have Russian undeclared intelligence officers here. "Once that deadline has passed the properties will no longer enjoy diplomatic status or protections", a State Department official told AFP. But Trump himself, who usually likes to tweet or hold a press event for major announcements, was silent.

Strigo says he's watching the situation closely but is much more focused on macroeconomic indicators, such as the Russian central bank's gradual approach to monetary easing and the rising price of oil. This represents the largest U.S. expulsion of Russian or Soviet agents ever and comes after Trump's predecessor Barack Obama expelled 35 in late 2016 over alleged election meddling. "It goes without saying that this unfriendly move by this group of countries will not go unnoticed". Russia's Embassy in Washington responded to the Seattle consulate closure by asking its Twitter followers to "vote" which U.S. Consulate should be shuttered in turn: St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg or Vladivostok. It was not immediately clear how many Russians are assigned to its various USA missions, but in 2016 Putin ordered the United States to reduce its Moscow personnel to 455 to achieve parity.

Poland said they were also expelling four Russians in the wake of the ex-spy poisoning row. At least 16 European Union member states are kicking out agents.

A Russian diplomat is to be expelled following the Salisbury nerve agent attack, the Irish foreign minister has confirmed.

"So political reforms in Russian Federation as a counterpart for economic cooperation which we have to offer", he said. Britain welcomed its allies' decision as a diplomatic and moral victory, after concerns that some would prefer not to offend Moscow despite global horror over the attack. "If we did, we would expel them", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told state radio.

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called the nerve-agent attack on Skripal and his daughter a "shocking and abhorrent" use of chemical weapons.

Skripal is a former Russian military intelligence officer who sold secrets to Britain and moved there in a 2010 spy swap.

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