Russian Intelligence and Diplomatic Officers Expelled

The Trump administration on Monday ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian intelligence and diplomatic officers in New York and Washington and the closure of the Russian Consulate in Seattle, joining European allies in retaliation for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

Monday’s actions were in response to the March 4 nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, England, which was blamed on Russia and critically injured a former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia. The show of solidarity was especially notable because Britain’s plan to leave the European Union has strained relations with many of the country’s neighbors.

The U.S. move came in coordination with 14 European nations, which almost simultaneously announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats on Monday in a broad attempt to disrupt the Kremlin’s intelligence network across Europe.

Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Finland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Canada all announced that they would expel diplomats or intelligence agent.

Separately, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose country is not a member of the E.U., also said his country would kick out 13 Russian diplomats.

Taken together, the expulsions were an unusually wide-ranging expression of solidarity against Russia following the attack. 

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Reported by: The Washington Post