The response was expected since last Monday, when at least 26 countries acted in a coordinated manner against Russia for considering it responsible for attempted assassination of a Russian spy chemical agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter on 4 March in Salisbury (United Kingdom). The Kremlin crossed it "colossal blackmail" and warned that re would be a "symmetrical" reply. In addition to expulsion of diplomats, United States had ordered closure of Seattle consulate and this Thursday Moscow has "removed permit for operation in St. Petersburg of Consulate-General of United States". "Literally, at moment American ambassador has been summoned to foreign ministry, where he is communicating content of response measures against United States," Lavrov said at a press conference collected by Agence France Presse.More information
- The daughter of Russian spy poisoned in UK "quickly improves"
- The police believe that first contact of Skripal and his daughter with nerve agent was at home
- 14 European countries join expulsion of Russian diplomats
The diplomats, 58 destined at embassy in Moscow and two at Consulate General of Yekaterinburg, have been declared non-grates people and must leave Russia as very late on April 5, according to same source.
The tension between Western countries and Russia is at levels reminiscent of those of Cold War. The toxic agent used against spy in United Kingdom, known as Novichok, was created by Soviet military sector decades ago, although Moscow categorically denies its participation in what happened. The chemical attack is compounded by accusation of trying to interfere in or countries ' electoral processes. Russian interference in United States, which Moscow has always denied, led Washington to expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised by not responding immediately and awaiting a better relationship with President-elect, Donald Trump, who had not yet entered Oval Office. However, in July 2017, when US Senate approved new sanctions, Moscow ordered to reduce number of diplomats in 755, until 455, same ones that n Russia had in United States.Silence
Trump responded with Sorna: "I want to thank you because we are trying to cut our payroll spending. I am very thankful that he [Putin] has let go of a large number of people. There's no real reason for m to come back. "
These days, however, president is silent on Russia, sanctions, and Putin. Expansive in his Twitter account on multiple issues, he has not mentioned Russian leader this week, who has devoted praise, despite considering Russia a potential rival.