US, EU States Expel Dozens Of Russian Diplomats Over Nerve-Agent Poisoning

The United States and more than a dozen European nations kicked out Russian diplomats on Monday and the Trump administration ordered Russia's consulate

The U.S. State Department said 12 of the diplomats are intelligence operatives employed by the Russian mission to the United Nations in NY.

The White House said it closed the Seattle consulate because of its proximity to a U.S. submarine base and the Boeing headquarters.

Boeing is the second biggest USA defense contractor by revenue.

"We will also require the Russian government to close its Consulate General in Seattle by April 2, 2018".

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, remain in a critical condition after they were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury on 4 March.

Russian Federation has denied it was behind the attempted assassination, which left Skripal and his daughter gravely ill in perhaps the first nerve agent attack in Europe since World War II.

Police officers guard a cordon around a police tent covering a supermarket auto park pay machine near the area where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found critically ill.

The US officials said Russian diplomats have been abusing their diplomatic privileges in the US and across the world. "It can not go unanswered". Such an event may have consequences, says Søreide.

The official estimated that there were about "100 Russian spies" in the US.

The Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov called the move "a very bad step" that is "cutting what very little still remains in terms of Russian-American relations". In its waning days, the Obama administration expelled 35 over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"Additional measures, including further expulsions within the common European Union framework, are not to be excluded in the coming days and weeks".

"The unified statement by the European Union heads of state that Russian Federation is most likely behind the attack is powerful symbolically", he said, referring to a recent European Union leaders' summit. With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russian Federation that its actions have consequences. All three Baltic states said they would make diplomats leave.

Russian Deputy Permanent Representative Vladimir Safronkov arrives at the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation in New York Monday

A counterintelligence official from a central European country that frequently clashes with both its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and Russia over security issues said it was unclear whether there was a broad appetite by European countries to directly confront the Russian intelligence services.

A senior counterintelligence official said the expulsions are "a very significant action taken by the United States government to expel 60 known intelligence officers by the Russian intelligence services".

The taking the broadest action today; most of the other responding countries are only throwing out a handful of Russian personnel.

The Office of the British Prime Minister welcomes the expulsion of Russian diplomats from a number of Western countries. Fourteen EU countries, plus Ukraine and Canada also expelled Russian diplomats.

Her statement in Parliament came as the US, Canada and European countries announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats from their countries. They weren't authorized to be identified by name and requested anonymity.

"We are prepared to take additional steps if necessary, but we believe at the time, under the circumstances, this sends the message that's needed".

However, in 2010 a network of 10 Russian illegals were caught and expelled, severely crippling the Russians' illegal spy network.

"Together, we have sent a message that we will not tolerate Russia's continue attempts to flout global law and undermine our values".

Russian Federation was notified of the action through diplomatic channels.

White House officials had initially been reluctant to attribute direct blame to Moscow in the days following the Skripal attack, but a senior administration official said on Monday that the nature of the Russian response to United Kingdom allegations held led to the definitive USA conclusion that the Kremlin was responsible.

Although Trump's administration is taking action to punish Russian Federation for the attack in Britain, Trump did not personally confront Putin on the attack during their phone call, administration officials have said.

On March 20 worldwide experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrive in Britain to take samples of the toxic substance.