BREAKING: Russia to expel 60 US diplomats and close US consulate in St Petersburg

0
631

by Nick Allen, The Telegraph:

Russia is to expel 60 US diplomats and close the US consulate in St Petersburg.

Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said it was responding in kind following US expulsions.

Washington had previously ordered home 60 Russians following the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK.

US Ambassador Jon Huntsman was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow , where he was given notice that Russia was responding quid pro quo.

Mr Lavrov said Moscow was retaliating with the same number of expulsions.

It was also responding to the US decision to shut the Russian consulate in Seattle by closing the US consulate in St Petersburg, he added.

He said: “The measures would be reciprocal. They include expulsion of the equivalent number of diplomats and they include our decision to withdraw our agreement to allow the United States’ general consulate to operate in St Petersburg.”

Mr Lavrov said the same approach will be applied to other nations that expelled Russian diplomats this week.

Two dozen countries, including the US, many EU nations and Nato, have ordered more than 150 Russian diplomats out this week in a show of solidarity with the UK.

He said: “The measures would be reciprocal. They include expulsion of the equivalent number of diplomats and they include our decision to withdraw our agreement to allow the United States’ general consulate to operate in St. Petersburg.”

Read More @ Telegraph.co.uk