More than 100 Russian diplomats from more than 20 countries were expelled in a co-ordinated response by the US and EU nations on Monday. In a statement designed to send a message to the Russians and curb Russian influence globally.
It denies any role in the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, southern England. The pair, who were poisoned with what investigators say was a military-grade nerve agent, remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
This co-ordinated effort demonstrates the power and influence of British diplomacy and the skills of the foreign office; including Boris Johnson to exert some meaningful influence across the globe.
US President Donald Trump has ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians as the diplomatic dispute between Russia and the UK intensifies over a spy poisoning case.
Alongside the US, 16 EU countries have also announced that they will expel 31 Russian diplomats in a show of force and solidarity with UK. Who earlier this month expelled 23 Russian diplomats.
The latest country to expel Russian diplomats is Australia, as part of a global response to the poisoning of a Russian spy in the UK.
PM Malcolm Turnbull said “the brazen attack in Salisbury was an attack on all of us”.
Monday’s announcement that the US will expel the largest number of Russian diplomats since the Cold War has been heralded as an unmistakable signal to the Kremlin that despite Trump’s lukewarm embrace of NATO, he will stand with America’s Western allies in a crisis.
The US backing up its closest ally said on Monday it was closing the Russian consulate in Seattle in response to the attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
The US has also moved to expel 12 Russian diplomats from the permanent mission to the UN, citing the “sensitivity” of the issue.
Trump is and has used this opportunity to create some much needed distance between himself and the Russians, especially with all the investigations that are taking place in the United States. And at the same time is able to show support to the UK which will undoubtedly strengthen the ‘special relationship’ .
Exceptional response from the US and international community to the Russian nerve agent attack on British soil. Grateful for US leadership, and for this extraordinary show of solidarity.
— Kim Darroch (@KimDarroch) March 26, 2018
This move shows how much President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has puzzled the world following allegations that Moscow’s interference in the 2016 US election helped put him in power.
Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, told state TV that Russia will respond in kind to every country involved in the expulsions. She also accused the US and the UK of setting up the attack against Skripal.
Today’s extraordinary international response by our allies stands in history as the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers ever & will help defend our shared security. Russia cannot break international rules with impunity
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 26, 2018
A new Cold War was dawning despite Boris Johnson’s denial on a BBC interview. It is inevitable that Russia’s response will cause further reactions with this already fractured relationship.
World Press Freedom – Support our free Journalism with a one-off donation – People like you make WTX possible – Thank you!
World Press Freedom Day being observed today – Support WTX News and others who work night and day to bring you the most compelling news stories like the Khashoggi murder, which we broke in the UK!