Russia has expelled 60 U.S. diplomats in retaliation over Washington’s move to expel 60 Russian diplomats following the London’s decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats over an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
Russian has also announced to shut down the country’s St Petersburg consulate in response to the U.S. actions.
The diplomatic rift between the UK and Russia began after a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, who has been living in the UK through a spy swap, was found unconscious and critically ill along with his 30 years old daughter Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.
The UK accused Russia of poisoning Skripal with nerve agent. The British Police said a nerve agent was used in an attempt to ‘murder a former Russian spy and his daughter’.
The UK announced to expel 23 Russian diplomats over Moscow’s refusal to explain how Russian made nerve agent was used to kill the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
More than 20 countries have expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with the United Kingdom over the spy row.
Announcing the retaliatory step, the Russian Foreign Minister Mr. Sergei Lavrov said, Russia was reacting to “absolutely unacceptable actions that are taken against us under very harsh pressure from the United States and Britain under the pretext of the so-called Skripal case.”
The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has accused London of “forcing everyone to follow an anti-Russian course.”
He accused Britain of “making a mockery of international law”.
“British authorities finally spoke today about Yulia Skripal’s condition. As people say, she’s on the mend quickly. And we have demanded again that we are given access to Yulia, as a Russian citizen,” Russian Foreign Minister Mr. Lavrov said, The Guardian reported from Interfax.