North Atlantic Treaty Organisation cuts Russian diplomats' access over nerve agent attack

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation cuts Russian diplomats' access over nerve agent attack

Kerry Wise
March 28, 2018

Many other countries have expelled one or two diplomats, a move created to register support for the UK.

The Prime Minister added: "It is also important to note that our partners are not only taking these measures out of solidarity with the United Kingdom, but also because they recognise the threat that these Russian networks pose to the security of their own countries and the pattern of Russian aggression which has affected us all". "The person concerned will have 14 days to leave Belgium".

Johnson also accused Russian Federation of seeking to avoid pressure by putting out a variety of explanations for what Western officials say was the first offensive use of a chemical weapon in Europe since World War II.

The list includes 22 European countries including Britain itself which led the way by expelling 23 diplomats.

A decision to recall the European Union ambassador from Russian Federation for consultations was also announced. Foreign Minister Simon Coveney called the nerve-agent attack on Skripal and his daughter a "shocking and abhorrent" use of chemical weapons.

With Downing Street saying that more than 115 Russian diplomats had been ordered home by friends and allies, Dublin added one more to the list.

Bulgaria, which has so far refrained from ordering any Russians out, said it has recalled its ambassador to Moscow for "consultations".

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"It appears Moscow misjudged the strong worldwide condemnation to its attempt to murder a former Russian intelligence officer and his daughter", wrote the Soufan Group security firm Tuesday.

Russia, which denies involvement in the Skripal attack case, said it would be guided by the principle of reciprocity as it responds to these expulsions.

Moscow has dismissed the British accusations as baseless, emphasizing that it completed the destruction of its Soviet-era chemical arsenals a year ago.

Ireland followed suit today by chucking out one of their officials - following in the footsteps of the US, France, Germany, Spain and several others.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today accused Washington of applying "colossal pressure" to achieve the massive, coordinated global response to the poisoning. The US move came despite Trump's previous promise to improve relations with Moscow.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow regrets these moves of the Western countries, and Russia's diplomatic authorities will analyze the situation and propose response measures to President Vladimir Putin for his final decision.