Russian Federation says Britain must recall more than 50 diplomats
02 April, 2018, 00:57 | Author: Mable Gonzales
In late March, a number of countries announced a coordinated decision to expel Russian diplomats expressing solidarity with Great Britain in connection with the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday that Britain's allegation of Russian involvement in the poisoning was a "swindle" and an "international provocation".
After the poisoning, Britain reacted by announcing it would expel 23 Russian diplomats, suspend high-level diplomatic contact with Moscow and not send any members of the royal family to the 2018 football World Cup hosted by Russia.
He accused London of "forcing everyone to follow an anti-Russian course".
The ministry warned that if the USA takes further "hostile actions" against Russian missions, Russia will respond in kind. Once again, they have broken the Chemical Weapons Convention.
The hospital where Skripal and his daughter are being treated said Thursday that Yulia, 33, was "improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition", while 66-year-old Sergei remained in a critical but stable condition.
According to a Foreign Ministry readout of Huntsman's meeting with Ryabkov, the USA ambassador was rebuked for the remark and warned such a move would have the "gravest consequences for global stability".
The Russian move is a tit-for-tat response to the wave of Western expulsions of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the UK. Moscow has denied accusations that it was involved in the assassination attempt. Envoys from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic, among others, were shown the door.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation came down heavily over the issue and announced that seven officials working in the Russian mission to the alliance will also have to leave. The country is heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies and tourists.
The U.S. on Monday expelled 60 Russian diplomats and announced it will close the Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington, after Russia is accused of deliberately trying to poison an ex-spy in the United Kingdom.
"They also ordered the closure of our consulate in St. Petersburg within 48 hours". They take vengeance on all of us - diplomats, athletes, journalists.
And the U.S. consulate general in Saint Petersburg will have to be vacated by Saturday.
London has become a rumored destination of choice to launder money from overseas crime and corruption "the so-called 'dirty money, '" said the Chair of the lower house Treasury Committee, Nicky Morgan, who is leading the new investigation.
Others were more cautious, anxious that the closures would affect visa processing for Russians.
In Britain, the government remained adamant that Russian Federation was in the wrong. "But the escalation is bad".
Four diplomats left the French embassy in Moscow.
Georgia and Russia severed diplomatic ties after a brief war in August 2008 over the breakaway South Ossetia region, but Russian diplomats have a presence there, operating out of a Russian interests section in the Swiss embassy.
A prominent Russian lawmaker said Moscow's expulsion of USA diplomats could aid that meeting because both sides would be on an equal basis. The ministry described the alleged U.S. overtures as "cynical and disgusting", adding that they have failed.
Information for this article was contributed by Vladimir Isachenkov, Gregory Katz, Irina Titova, Jim Heintz and Nataliya Vasilyeva of The Associated Press and by Henry Meyer, Mike Dorning, Larry Liebert, Stepan Kravchenko and Olga Tanas of Bloomberg News.
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