The US authorities have decided to expel over 60 Russian diplomats from the country and close the Russian Consulate General in Seattle in connection with the poisoning of Skripal.
An official from the US administration called the expelled diplomats “intelligence officers”.
“Today, President Donald Trump ordered the deportation of dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and to close the Russian consulate in Seattle because of its proximity to one of our submarine bases.”
The representative of the White House added that these actions are being taken in response to alleged use of Russia by chemical warfare weapons in the UK and “its series of ongoing destabilizing actions in the world.” In total, 60 representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be expelled from the United States, 12 of whom are employees of the Russian Mission to the United Nations.
The United States also supports the decision of Britain not to give Russia the sample of the substance that poisoned Skripal. Washington is ready to take new measures if Russia responds to the “completely justified” expulsion of diplomats.
Similar measures were taken by other European states. In particular, 13 people will be sent home from Ukraine; Berlin, Warsaw and Paris will be left with four Russian diplomats, three embassy employees will leave Prague; Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy will expel two diplomats each; Croatia, Finland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will expel one diplomat each.
This occurs on the day of Russia’s largest catastrophe takes place in modern history – a shopping mall fire in the city of Kemerovo has claimed the lives of at east 50 people, another 50 are missing – many of them children. A three day national mourning period has been set in Kemerovo.