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The Latest: Australia says Russia is exterminating 2 of its employees



The latest on the consequences of Russian ex-spying poisoning (all local):

4:10

Australia says it expels two of its diplomats and calls Moscow's action "disappointing". 19659002] The evictions of Moscow are a reaction to the expulsion of two Russian diplomats by Australia, who, according to the government, were not unofficial intelligence agents. Australia says it has acted together with 28 other nations, which have displaced a total of 153 Russian diplomats in an unprecedented demonstration of global solidarity with Britain over the nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal. Moscow denies engagement

A joint statement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop states that Moscow's evictions are unjustified.

The Russian government must explain how a military nerve committee developed by Russia was developed was used in Britain and why it was not declared a chemical weapons prohibition organization

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23:29

Romania's foreign minister says that Russia has "a very solid presence" of spies in Romania, in unusually blunt remarks about alleged Russian espionage.

Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said Friday: "I do not know in numbers, but we can feel a very solid presence" of Russian spies.

It was the first direct comment by a senior Romanian official on the subject.

Relations between Romania and Russia, which are generally cool, have continued to tighten this week after Romania has expelled a Russian diplomat over the nerve agent attacking ex-spy Sergei Skripal. Russia reacted in the same way.

Russia's Ambassador to Romania Valery Kuzmin called the expulsion of Russian diplomats "the manifestation of collective political madness", but Melescanu responded Friday that "the insanity was the attack in Salisbury."

Melescanu headed Romania's foreign spy agency from 201

2 to 2014.

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22:30

The Russian Foreign Ministry says a state-owned airline Aeroflot is being searched by the police at a London airport.

Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Freitag said the British authorities did not give a reason for the search, which she called "the latest provocation."

The tensions between London and Moscow are high in the dispute over the nerve poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter. Great Britain blames Russia for poisoning.

Each country has expelled 23 diplomats of the other country. Russia further escalated its reaction on Friday and called on the UK to reduce the number of its diplomats in Moscow to the level that Russia has in London. This number was not immediately clear.

Zakharova did not specify the London airport where the search took place, but a Heathrow-to-Moscow flight online had delayed its expected arrival by about three hours.

___ [19659002] 18:10

The Russian Foreign Ministry accuses US intelligence agencies of recruiting Russian diplomats expelled by the US in a diplomatic conflict over the poisoning of an ex-spy in the UK.

The Ministry said on Friday that it has seen a "sharp increase in provocative actions against Russian diplomats" following the US decision earlier this week to order 60 Russian diplomats.

It was said that American intelligence agencies had made "desperate efforts" to offer cooperation offers to the displaced diplomats. The ministry described the alleged US rapprochements as "cynical and disgusting," adding that they had failed.

Two dozen countries ordered more than 150 Russian diplomats in a solidarity broadcast with Britain over the nervous attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal. Moscow rejects the participation and has responded in the same way.

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18:50

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass says his country is "ready for dialogue" with Russia – but stresses that the expulsion of four Russian diplomats was the right thing to do.

Maas says Friday that Russia has repatriated four German embassy employees in retaliation. He said the move was "forever" unsurprising. He says: "We have not made the decision to expel the Russian diplomats lightly."

The Minister says that Germany's reaction to the poisoning of a former Russian intelligence official in London is a necessary and appropriate political signal, in solidarity with the Great Britain and because Russia has refused any clarification of the matter. "

Maas said nonetheless that Germany was ready" to work for a constructive future between our countries. "

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18:25

The Russian Foreign Ministry reports that it is the ambassadors of most countries , who have ordered the expulsion of Russian diplomats, have announced that an equal number of their diplomats have been declared as persona non grata.

A statement from the Ministry on Friday said that ambassadors from 23 countries originated Russians in connection with the poisoning of one expelled former Russian double agent and his daughter in the UK Russia announced Thursday that it would dislodge 60 US diplomats and close the Consulate in St. Petersburg in retaliation for Washington's move.

The countries informed on Friday about evictions from Australia, Albania, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova Vienna, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Finland, France, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Estonia

It is said that Russia would consider deportation of diplomats from Belgium, Hungary, Georgia and Montenegro ,

The statement did not mention NATO, which lists seven Russians.

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16:40

In a diplomatic dispute between Russia and West, Consulate of the United States consulate in St Petersburg has paused for a pizza

A delivery van delivered more than 20 pizzas on Friday Consulate, which had Moscow closed in the worsening diplomatic war between Russia and the West. The closure of the consulate in Russia's second-largest city reflects the US move to close the Russian consulate in Seattle.

Two dozen countries, including the US and many EU countries, and NATO this week ordered more than 150 Russian diplomats a demonstration of solidarity with Britain over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, London for Blamed Russia. Moscow has vehemently denied involvement in the attack of the neurologists and announced the expulsion of the same number of diplomats from each nation.

___ [1659002] 16:10

Bulgaria's prime minister says his country will not drive out Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent's attack on an ex-spy in Britain.

Bojko Borissov said after a meeting of the Security Council of the government, his government is looking forward to further evidence of the attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia

The government has decided that Bulgaria is now on the full support for Britain, which was already declared at the European Council and recalled its ambassador from Moscow for consultations.

Borissov said that Bulgaria, the current rotating EU presidency should keep the channels of communication with Russia open.

Bulgaria, once Moscow's closest ally, is still heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies (19659002) ___

15:40

British officials say Russian command to reduce Britain's diplomatic presence in Moscow is " regrettable "but had been foreseen.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says it has ordered Britain to reduce the number of its diplomats in Moscow to the level of Russia in London.

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Friday said the Russian action "does not change the fact that the nerve agent attacked ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

He says that there is no alternative to the conclusion that the Russian state was responsible for the attempted "murder of two people" on British soil. "

The Foreign Ministry says Russia stands" blatantly in violation of international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention. "

Officials refuse to discuss how many diplomats may have to be removed to comply with the Russian Order

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15:05

The Russian Foreign Ministry says it has ordered Britain to reduce the number of its diplomats in Moscow to the level that Russia has in London, and in a diplomatic war to fire another salvo the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Great Britain.

The ministry said it summoned the British ambassador Friday to give him a protest about "provocative and unfounded actions by the UK that triggered the expulsion of Russian diplomats from various nations for no reason." It said Friday that London has a month to reduce its diplomatic staff to the same number of diplomats that Russia has in the UK.

This number was not immediately clear.

Two dozen countries, including the US and many EU nations and NATO, this week has more than 150 Russian diplomats in a solidarity consignment with the UK over the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who blamed London for Russia power, ordered. Moscow has denied the participation and announced on Thursday to distribute the same number of diplomats from each country.

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14:00

The Russian Foreign Ministry says it calls ambassadors from the countries, the Russian diplomats about the poisoning of an ex-spy in the UK, which should give them messages about Moscow's answer.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Thursday that Moscow will distribute the same number of diplomats from each of the nations that are ordering Russian diplomats. The State Department said it would summon ambassadors from these nations on Friday to announce retaliatory measures.

Earlier this week, two dozen countries, including the US and many EU countries, and NATO have expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats for ex-poisoning -pey Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. A hospital she treated said on Thursday that the woman is improving quickly and is now in a stable condition, although her father remained in critical condition.

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13:30

The Kremlin says it remains open to normalizing relations with the US and other nations despite Moscow's consideration for their expulsion of Russian diplomats for poisoning a Russian expedition in the UK

The spokesman Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said Friday that after the expulsion, Moscow was forced to take revenge from more than 150 Russian diplomats from two dozen countries, including the US and many EU states, and NATO. Peskov said that "Russia remains open to the development of good relations."

Moscow said it would identify the same number of diplomats from each country, commanding Russian diplomats. He called on the US Ambassador to announce the closure of the US Consulate in St. Petersburg and the expulsion of 60 US diplomats in response to Washington's move.

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12:35

US Consulate personnel in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, are preparing to cease operations after the Russian government orders the closure of the consulate.

Russia has on Thursday expelled more than 150 diplomats, including 60 Americans, announced mass executions of Russian diplomats by Western countries over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.

Russia also ordered the closure of the US Consulate in St. Petersburg.

A reporter from Associated Press on Friday saw consulate employees carry boxes out of the building and load them into a van. Several minivans drove out of the consulate while security also arrested a man throwing a paper coffee cup atop the building.


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