Russia is accused of using military grade chemical weapon in the soil of Britain to poison the ex-envoy Skripal, a charge that Russia has strongly denied.
According to the information shared by the White House, as many as 137 Russian diplomats have been expelled after being labeled as intelligence personnel.
Among the countries who have aligned together against Russia over alleged ex-spy poisoning case, are Albania, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden UK, Ukraine and USA.
The White House said: “Today, President Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the U.S. and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. With these steps, the U.S. and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences”.
Today, President Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the U.S. and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. With these steps, the U.S. and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences. pic.twitter.com/rfGFXXrUlH
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 27, 2018
United States ordered expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats describing them as “intelligence officers” and at the same time ordered closure of the country’s consulate in Seattle. In a similar development, fourteen countries of the European Union too announced on Tuesday that they are to expel a total of 30 Russian diplomats. Australia also announced that it would expel two Russian diplomats over the UK spy attack.
In a statement of White House released by the Press Secretary Sarah Sanders it was stated that:
"Today President Donald J. Trump ordered expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle due to its proximity to one of our submarine bases and Boeing. The US takes this action in conjunction with our NATO allies and partners around the world in response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom, the latest in its ongoing pattern of destabilising activities around the world. Today’s actions male the US safer by reducing Russia’s ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations that threaten America’s national security. With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences. The United States stand ready to cooperate to build a better relationship with Russia but this can only happen with a change in the Russian government’s behaviour."
Statement on Expulsion of Russian intelligence officers. pic.twitter.com/4uCzMOMG3f
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 26, 2018
The US move was followed by 14 European Union member states that expelled 30 Russian diplomats. Germany, France and Poland led the way in Europe with four expulsions each.
Colonel Skripal was convicted of treason in 2006 and jailed for 13 years for selling secrets to MI6, which had recruited him in the 1990s. The senior intelligence officer with Russian military intelligence GRU, was pardoned in a spy swap in 2010 and settled in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Both Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, both remain critically ill in hospital in Britain.
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