US Joins Global Reprimand Of Putin With Diplomatic Expulsions

Putin Hollande Merkel And Poroshenko Meet Over Ukraine Peace Plan

USA president Donald Trump on Monday expelled 60 Russian intelligence and diplomatic officers in NY and Washington as a retaliatory move to the incident of poisoning Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and her daughter.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Monday on his Facebook page: "In response to a cynical chemical attack in Salisbury, Ukraine, in the spirit of solidarity with our British partners and transatlantic allies and in coordination with European Union countries, chose to expel 13 Russian diplomats from the few that remain (in Kiev)".

Ukraine also announced it was expelling 13 Russian diplomats. Italy, Estonia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania and Finland also expelled between one and three diplomats each.

The collective expulsions from the U.S. and 14 EU member states is a remarkable show of solidarity with Britain, even more so because it comes at a time when UK-EU relations are strained due to the Brexit negotiations. According to the ambassador, the US authorities' actions "are destroying everything that we cherished about Russia-US relations".

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Russia's Foreign ministry slammed the "provocative" expulsions and vowed to respond in kind.

The Russians have been given seven days to leave the U.S. However, they remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

Germany, France and the United States have also announced they are each expelling Russian diplomats, with the USA expelling 60 of them and calling the attack an "outrageous violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of global law".

"With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russian Federation that its actions have consequences".

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The text blames Russian Federation for the alleged attack on Skripal and his daughter with nerve gas on March 4 on British territory, according to the story published.

Trump has also ordered the shutdown of Russia's consulate in Seattle, Washington. The two countries have already expelled 23 diplomats each in tit-for-tat moves. The European Union has already recalled its ambassador to Russian Federation.

The Russian foreign ministry said the moves demonstrated a continuation of a "confrontational path".

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson hailed the support Britain had received during a visit on Monday to Estonia, where Britain has troops as part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission to deter any Russian aggression following its seizure of Ukraine's Crimea in 2014.

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The action is coordinated with the expulsion of Russian envoys by more than a dozen members of the European Union - but it's larger in scale than the actions taken by those allies and is a rare example of President Trump taking concrete action against the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.



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