Russia to expel 60 United States diplomats

Last Updated: Mar 30 2018 12:41

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would expel 60 United States diplomats and close its consulate in Saint Petersburg in a tit-for-tat expulsion over the poisoning of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal.

Lavrov said the United States ambassador had been informed of “retaliatory measures”, saying that “they include the expulsion of the equivalent number of diplomats and our decision to withdraw permission for the functioning of the US consulate general in Saint Petersburg”.

“As for the other countries it’s also all symmetrical measures as to the number of people who will be leaving Russia from diplomatic missions, and that’s all so far,” Lavrov said.

He added that Russia was reacting to “absolutely unacceptable actions that are taken against us under very harsh pressure from the United States and Britain under the pretext of the so-called Skripal case.”

He condemned London for “forcing everyone to follow an anti-Russian course.”

Lavrov vowed at the briefing in Moscow that “we want to establish the truth” over the poisoning and accused Britain of “making a mockery of international law.”

He said that Russia had asked for a meeting with the executive council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on Tuesday to ask questions to “establish the truth.”

“We are counting on our Western partners not evading an honest conversation,” Lavrov said.