Ukraine made a decision to expel 13 Russian diplomats due to the poisoning of Sergey Skripal, the former GRU agent in the UK. Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine reported this on Facebook.
'In the response to the cynical chemical attack in Salisbury (Great Britain) Ukraine in solidarity with our British partners and transatlantic allies and in the coordination with the EU countries made a decision to expel 13 Russian diplomats of the few of those left from the Ukrainian territory as it is known that our diplomatic relations with Russia de-facto frozen', Poroshenko reported.
According to him, Russia confirmed once more its neglect not only to the sovereignty of the independent states but to the value of human life. Ukraine feels it every day in occupied Crimea and Donbas as the president emphasized.
'Because of this, it is as important as ever to not be limited to the symbolic gestures. The next step will be a price increase for Moscow for international crimes, including the extension of the targeted, financial and economic sanctions', the president noted.
He added that the general response to Kremlin should be strong and tough in the future to 'prevent new human tragedies and provision of the respect to the international law norms'.
Earlier, the First Vice Speaker of Parliament, representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite Contact Group Iryna Gerashchenko claimed that Ukraine does not expel Russian diplomats following the example of Europe, as this will mean the automatic expulsion of Ukrainian consuls from the Russian Federation, whose presence in the country is extremely important for Ukrainian political prisoners.
British Prime Minister Theresa May decided to expel 23 Russian diplomats due to the incident in Salisbury. Russian diplomats had a week to leave Great Britain. Besides, the law enforcers will tighten control at the customs and check of private planes for the same reason. In return, Russia said it would expel 23 British diplomats as a reaction to Britain’s actions. Russian Foreign Ministry informed in its announcement.
Theresa May, British Prime Minister, stated that Russia was highly likely to be involved in Skripal’s case. Later, Britain had officially confirmed the use of Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury. Due to this, British representative accused Russia of violating of UN Charter and Chemical Weapons Convention at the UN Security Council session.
Ex-colonel of Russia’s Main Intelligence Agency, Sergey Skripal and his daughter, poisoned in the center of Salisbury town in the evening of March 4, are still struggling for life in the intensive care unit of the local hospital. The British special services suppose that Skripals was poisoned by his ex-colleague Andrey Lugovoy, who acted on orders from Moscow.