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'1 Percent Chance of Hope' for Nerve Gas Victims in Britain

30 Marcha 2018, 03:02 | Crisanna Felipe

West’s unity on show as 26 countries kick out Russians by Dominic Yeatman Published

Clear message Nato
chief Jens Stoltenberg
said Russia is paying
the price for reckless
behaviour PICS EPA

Russia announced the expulsion of more than 150 diplomats, including 60 Americans, on Thursday and said it was closing a USA consulate in retaliation for the wave of Western expulsions of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter in Britain, a tit-for-tat response that intensified the Kremlin's rupture with the United States and Europe.

Britain shared "unprecedented levels" of intelligence about a spy poisoning it blamed on Moscow, which has led at least 25 countries to expel Russian diplomats, a senior United Kingdom government official said Tuesday.

London has been seeking support from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies during an escalating diplomatic row with the Kremlin since expelling 23 Russian diplomats itself on March 14.

Britain has accused Russian Federation of a nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Washington led the way in responding, ordering out 60 Russians in a new blow to US-Russia ties less than a week after President Donald Trump congratulated his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on his re-election.

Trump moved Monday to expel 60 Russian officials stationed in the US and close the Russian consulate in Seattle. As Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull said, his country chose to expel two employees of the Russian diplomatic missions, as solidarity with the UK.

On Tuesday the government announced that Ireland is to expel one Russian diplomat. Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, while Italy announced the expulsion of two members of the Russian diplomatic staff. "It's outrageous to use a nerve agent on the territory of one of our allies", in what some have called "an act of war or a terrorist attack", he said.

British officials have said the attack on the Skripals was carried out with a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.

In December 2012, Abashidze held his first meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in a Geneva suburb.

Skripal, recruited by British spies while in Spain, ended up in Britain after a Cold War-style spy swap that brought 10 Russian spies captured in the United States back to Moscow in exchange for those accused by Moscow of spying for the West.

Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats last week and Russia ordered retaliatory expulsions.

May has said there's "no place" for corrupt Russian elites - or their money - in London, and suggested that police could target rich Russians and demand they account for their wealth.

"I think we also have to understand that, of course, what triggered this was the Salisbury attack, but it is part of a broader response by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to a pattern of unacceptable and unsafe behavior by Russia", Euronews quoted Stoltenberg.

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. "Together we have sent a message that we will not tolerate Russia's continued attempts to flout global law and undermine our values".

Montenegro has made a decision to expel a Russian diplomat from the tiny Adriatic state which joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation against Moscow's wishes.

"We have a clear and unshakeable position, but we want to stay in dialogue with Moscow", said Erler, a member of the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD).

Many official Russian accounts were also used to retweet a more serious tweet from the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.



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