North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expels Russian diplomats in response to United Kingdom attack

Nato expels seven Russian diplomats over UK spy poisoning

On March 26, more than 20 countries announced their intention to expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain because of the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

"I have today withdrawn the accreditation of seven staff at the Russian mission to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

It "could become a turning point", he wrote in The Times newspaper, adding: "The Western alliance took decisive action and Britain's partners came together against the Kremlin's reckless ambitions".

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".

"No one wants to put up with such loutish behavior and we won't", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the sidelines of a conference in Uzbekistan.

"When one or two diplomats are asked to leave this or that country, with apologies being whispered into our ears, we know for certain that this is a result of colossal pressure and blackmail, which is Washington's chief instrument in the worldwide scene". The USA will expel the largest number of Russian diplomats - 60 people in total.

And Moldova, the ex-Soviet nation whose pro-Western government is seeking closer ties with the West, on Tuesday also ordered three Russian diplomats to leave within seven days.

The attack on the 66-year-old Skripal and Yulia Skripal, his 33-year-old daughter, took place in the English cathedral city of Salisbury where he had been living since being swapped in a spy exchange deal in 2010. Moscow has fiercely denied the charge and has pointed the finger at British intelligence.

The list includes 22 European countries including Britain itself which led the way by expelling 23 diplomats.

Western officials made it clear in announcing the expulsions that they share Britain's assessment that only the Russian state could have been behind the incident. Turnbull slammed Russian Federation for "reckless and deliberate" conduct that he said harms global security and violates rules against the use of chemical weapons.

In addition, the Russian consulate general in Seattle will be closed, the White House said.

Ireland followed suit today by chucking out one of their officials - following in the footsteps of the US, France, Germany, Spain and several others.

The Russian Embassy in Washington asked its Twitter followers to vote on which US consulate should be closed in response to the closing of the Russian consulate in Seattle, listing those in Vladivostok, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg as options.

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