What countries expel Russian diplomats and why?

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

"Great eviction" of Russian diplomats connected with the "Skripal case" started on the globe. Countries one after another join this flash mob, and Russia threatens with retaliatory measures. What is going on?
22:40, 28 March 2018

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112 Agency

To begin with, let us conduct a short excursion to a relatively recent history that should help understand the motives of countries that have in fact entered an open diplomatic conflict with the Russian Federation.

How did it all start?

In the British city of Salisbury on March 4, a former Colonel of Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned.

Later, British Prime Minister Theresa May said that responsibility lies on Russia, and the investigation focused on the use in Salisbury of nerve gas "Novichok", which is produced in Russia.

Britain put forward an ultimatum to the Russian Federation but received no explanations. Moreover, in Russia, they said that they did not admit guilt, and they demanded from the UK to provide evidence of the involvement.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the charges of Theresa May provocation, undermining the dialogue between the Russian Federation and Great Britain.

"The undermining of the dialogue" continued with the decision of the British Parliament on the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, adopted in connection with the "case of Skripal."

112 Agency

Russia responded in the same way, expelling 23 British diplomats out of the country.

Later, on March 23, the official position of the European Council was promulgated. They announced that "with a high degree of probability" the Russian Federation bears responsibility for the attempt on the Skripal.

"We express our unconditional solidarity with the United Kingdom in the face of this serious challenge to our common security," the message says.

It was the word "solidarity" that became the key in the further actions of a number of countries. They decided to support the UK not only with words but with actions.

"We're flying home"

112 Agency

A well-known Internet meme in a way became a reality for dozens of Russian diplomats on March 26.

On this day that it became known about the decision of the United States in the framework of supporting Britain in the "Skripal case" to expel 60 Russian diplomats and employees of the diplomatic missions. The expulsion of four Russian diplomats was announced in Canada.

Head of the European Council Donald Tusk wrote in his Twitter that such measures of solidarity (namely, the expulsion of a certain number of Russian diplomats) were supported by 14 EU member states.

Also, Ukraine joined the EU, the USA and Canada. President Petro Poroshenko said on Facebook that 13 Russian diplomats "out of the few who stayed" will leave the country.

At the moment, it is known about the planned expulsion of a different number of Russian diplomats from 20 countries around the world.

Countries expelling Russian diplomats

112 Agency

USA - 60 (48 staff members of the diplomatic mission and 12 staff members of the UN mission)

Ukraine - 13

Germany, Poland, France, Canada - 4 each

Lithuania, Czech Republic - 3 each

Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Albania - 2 each

Latvia, Romania, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Norway - 1 each.

Earlier, the decision to deport 23 Russian diplomats was made by the United Kingdom.

What do they say?

112 Agency

"Today, US President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of several dozen Russian intelligence officers and the closing of the Russian consulate in Seattle. This is the largest expulsion of Russian intelligence officials in the history of the US. The US is taking this step in parallel with NATO allies and partners around the world in response to Russia's use of chemical weapons in the United Kingdom ... The United States, together with its allies and partners, makes it clear that its actions entail consequences, reads the statement of US Ambassador to Russia John Hunstman posted on the embassy website.

"We are expelling four Russian diplomats working at the Russian Embassy in Canada or at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Montreal, all four were identified as agents or persons who used their diplomatic status to undermine Canada's security and interference in our democracy," Ukrinform quoted Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Speaker of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Mariana Betz on the air of 112 Ukraine said that Russian diplomats, who are going to be expelled, are representatives of the Russian special services.

In a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry on the official website of the diplomatic mission, the expulsion of diplomats was called an "unfriendly and provocative gesture" and they promised a reaction.

At the same time, a number of countries refused to expel diplomats. For example, in Austria authorities said that they "intend to keep open channels of dialogue with Russia."

What's next?

112 Agency

The investigation of the "Skrypal case" will be continued. The British police say that it will be lengthy and will take "weeks, if not months".

"This is an exceptionally complex investigation, and we currently have about 250 highly experienced and dedicated experts from counter-terrorist units working around the clock on this matter," said Neil Basu, deputy head of the Scotland Yard counterterrorism department.

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