MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian foreign ministry summoned a number of senior Western diplomats on Friday to explain the retaliation they are taking in an altercation with the West about the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in the UK.
Russia chased away 60 US diplomats on Thursday and expelled points from other countries Englisch: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…80&Itemid=58 Poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter criticizes what Moscow denies.
On Friday, embassy officials from France, Germany, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, Ukraine, Sweden, Australia and the Czech Republic were in their official cars in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Moscow ,
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it would convene representatives of a number of countries that were rude to Russia in solidarity with Britain over the Skripal affair.
"The ambassadors are given protest notes and reports about the retaliatory measures of the Russian side," said the ministry.
The United States and a number of Western countries expel more than 100 Russian diplomats, and Moscow has stated that its own retaliation measures accurately reflect the measures taken against it.
Laurie Bristow, the British ambassador, was also summoned to the ministry on Friday, but refused to comment on what had been discussed leaving the premises.
German ambassador Rudiger von Fritsch, who came out of the building, said Russia has questions about the poisoning of Skripal, but Berlin is open to dialogue with Moscow.
After Russia announced the expulsions on Thursday night, the US State Department said it had the right to continue responding. The list of diplomats designated by Russia shows that Moscow is not interested in diplomacy.
On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov contradicted reporters in a teleconference with reporters, saying that President Vladimir Putin is still improving relations with other countries, including the United States.
Additional coverage by Maria Kiselyova and Christian Lowe; Arrangement by Andrew Osborn