14 European states announce coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case

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Fourteen members of the EU have decided to expel Russian diplomats over the Sergei Skripal case, European Council president Donald Tusk has confirmed.
Donald Tusk did not specify which fourteen countries are going to act, but added that further action could be taken.

Germany, France and Poland have expelled four diplomats each, respective foreign ministries confirmed on Monday. The Netherlands and Denmark will expel two diplomats each, their foreign ministries said.

Italy is expelling two Russian diplomats, while Lithuania has expelled three, according to that country’s foreign minister. The Czech Republic will expel the same number.

Meanwhile, Latvia is expelling one diplomat and an Aeroflot employee, and Estonia’s foreign minister has confirmed the country is expelling a military attaché at the Russian embassy. Finland, Sweden, Romania, and Croatia are expelling one each.

Ukraine has also jumped on board and announced it is expelling as many as 13 diplomats. Albania is expelling two, an official confirmed.

Meanwhile, outside of the EU, Donald Trump has ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats from the United States, as well as the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle.

Western countries have been pointing the finger at Russia over the poisoning of Skripal, a former double-agent, and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK on March 4. British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson went so far as to suggest the attack was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has denied playing in role in the poisoning, and has offered its full cooperation in the investigation. Moscow’s request for samples of the toxic agent used on Skripal and his daughter has been declined by Britain.


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