The United States on Monday expelled 60 Russian diplomats in response to Moscow's alleged role in poisoning an ex-spy in United Kingdom (UK). The Trump administration has also ordered Russia's consulate in Seattle to be closed, said reports.
According to reports, France earlier today told four Russian diplomats to leave the country within one week in response to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Britain. EU President Donald Tusk said today that Fourteen EU states are expelling Russian diplomats in a coordinated response to the nerve agent attack. The European Union has already recalled its ambassador to Russia.
Ironically, Trump had, less than a week ago, congratulated Putin by phone for his re-election but didn't raise the spy case, renewing questions about whether the U.S. president is too soft on the Kremlin.
The United States had on March 13 expressed "outrage" over a nerve agent attack on a former spy and his daughter in an attempted murder in the UK allegedly by Russia. Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found collapsed after being poisoned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 19 rubbished claims that Russia poisoned a former spy in Britain.
"It's complete drivel, rubbish, nonsense that somebody in Russia would allow themselves to do such a thing ahead of elections and the World Cup," Putin had told supporters after winning a fourth term as president.
"We have destroyed all chemical weapons," he added, rejecting Britain's claim that only Moscow could be behind the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The poisoning in the English city of Salisbury on March 4 has led to a diplomatic crisis, with Britain expelling 23 Kremlin diplomats.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs