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Home / World / Russia is to expel 60 US diplomats; Tensions are the worst in decades

Russia is to expel 60 US diplomats; Tensions are the worst in decades



The United States condemned the Russian retribution. "With its unfortunate, unjustified decision today, it is clear that Russia has no interest in engaging in dialogue on issues of importance to our two countries," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Twitter , "Russia continues to isolate itself after the outrageous chemical weapons attack in the UK."

The relations between Moscow and the wars in Syria and Ukraine, its annexation of the Crimea, its interference in the US and elsewhere elections, the murder of Kremlin enemies in Russia and abroad Cyber ​​attacks and disinformation campaigns against other countries have been difficult, and Western officials have described it as a broad, largely covert effort to destabilize and discredit liberal democracies.

Russia as a whole and many powerful Russians are individually single from the West under economic sanctions and London has vowed to strengthen its control and control over the vast Russian wealth – a large part of which is held by allies of President Vladimir V. Putin – which has flowed to the UK in recent years. Britain has also said that it will re-examine several suspicious deaths of Kremlin's opponents.

Mr. Putin and his government denied any involvement in the attack on Sergei V. Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4 and tried to blame Britain, the United States, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and others

The scriptwriters were found unconscious in a busy shopping district in the small English town of Salisbury, where Mr. Skripal lives. He remains in critical condition in the hospital, but his daughter is improving, announced British officials on Thursday. British officials say hundreds of people may be exposed to the poison used against the scripts.

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The Consulate of the United States in St. Petersburg, Russia, is closed, the Kremlin announced.


Olga Maltseva / Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Mr. Lavrov said that Russia has called for a chemical weapons organization meeting next Tuesday to investigate "the truth" about the Skripal case.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her government claim that the couple is poisoned with one of the extremely potent class of neurotoxins known as "Novichok" developed by Soviet scientists in the 1970s and 1980s. They claim to have solid evidence that Russia was probably behind the attack, and that Putin most likely had themselves approved the attack.

The British government has not made its evidence public, but has shared it with major allies who have said that they agree with the London conclusions.

President Trump, who has not been ready to criticize Putin or his government for a long time, has made no public statement about the nerve agent attack or who is responsible. But officials in his administration publicly supported Mrs. May's statements, and on Monday the president ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials working in the United States and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle.

More than 20 other countries, mostly from Europe, also announced expulsions on Monday, and on Tuesday joined a few others, as well as the NATO headquarters in Brussels. The expulsions were a notable demonstration of international unity and coordination in solidarity with Britain, which had already forced 23 Russian officials to leave the country; Moscow responded with the expulsion of 23 Britons

In total, 27 countries throw out more than 150 Russians, including people who are known by their embassies and consulates as diplomats and military and cultural attachés. Western officials say that many of the Russians are spies and that the expulsions will hinder Russian espionage activities.

Russian retribution is likely to damage western spy capabilities in Russia. The United States and its allies also use diplomatic cover for their spies.

Mr. Skripal, a former colonel of Russian military intelligence who was imprisoned in Russia for selling secrets to the British, was sent to Britain in 2010 as part of a spy exchange. Why he will be targeted years later is unclear, but political and security analysts have said that the attack was a warning to those who would meet with Putin who, even in exile, are never outside the reach of the Kremlin.

Next On March 12, Nikolai A. Glushkov, a former Russian businessman and government critic, suddenly died at his home in London, and the police treated the case as a homicide investigation.

Concern over the escalation of Russian tensions The West was on Thursday at the United Nations, where Secretary-General António Guterres told reporters that he had been reminded of the atmosphere during the Cold War. He called for the restoration of hotline communication between Moscow and Washington.

"In the Cold War, there were clearly two superpowers with complete control of the situation of two areas in the world, and now we have many other actors who are relatively independent and play an important role in many of the conflicts we are experiencing. "

He added," On the other hand, during the Cold War, there were mechanisms of communication and control to prevent the escalation of incidents to ensure that things would not get out of hand when tensions increased. " were dismantled because people thought the Cold War was over, so there was no reason for this kind of precaution. "

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