North Atlantic Treaty Organisation cuts Russian Federation diplomatic mission amidst spy poisoning row

Posted March 28, 2018

Poland and the three Baltic states seem poised to expel Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain earlier this month, based on Russian news reports and diplomatic sources on Monday.

"This sends a clear message to Russian Federation that there are costs and consequences for its unacceptable and unsafe pattern of behavior", he said.

Mrs May has hailed the "unprecedented series of expulsions" of Russian diplomats across the globe in the wake of the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement.

"The Prime Minister said the conditions demonstrate the continuing strength of our European. transatlantic and worldwide alliances and partnerships".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of applying "colossal" pressure on allies to expel its diplomats, and vowed to respond to the move. But it is part of a broader response by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to a pattern of unacceptable and unsafe behaviour by Russian Federation.

Trump discussed Russian Federation in separate phone calls on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As of midday on March 27, 23 countries in total have announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats in connection with the Skripal case: 16 countries of the European Union, the USA, Canada, Albania, Macedonia, Norway, Ukraine and Australia.

"Relations between Russian Federation and the West are entering a period of full Cold War", foreign policy analyst Fyodor Lukyanov wrote in the Vedomosti daily.

Western officials made it clear in announcing the expulsions that they share Britain's assessment that only the Russian state could have been behind the incident.

Johnson also accused Russian Federation of seeking to avoid pressure by putting out a variety of explanations for what Western officials say was the first offensive use of a chemical weapon in Europe since World War II.

They remain in critical condition after exposure to a nerve agent, which, according to the British authorities, could have originated from Russian Federation.

In his article for The Times, Johnson said the attack fell into pattern of "reckless behavior" by Putin, including the annexation of Crimea.

May's spokesman said Tuesday that the "unprecedented" actions by allies were in part because they "recognize the threat that these Russian networks posed to the security of their own countries".