The Cold War Begins: Russia Expels 23 British Diplomats, Closes British Consulate
It is for tit-for-tat. That is what Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Larvrov called it after Russia announced on Saturday that it has expelled 23 British diplomats and closed a British consulate in Moscow.
“Twenty-three diplomatic staff at the British embassy in Moscow are declared persona non-grata and to be expelled within a week,” a foreign ministry statement said.
This follows London’s “provocative” measures over the poisoning of a double agent that has triggered an escalating war of words.
And it also said it would halt the activities of the British Council in Russia.
The Russian response was announced on the eve of a presidential election which is expected to hand Vladimir Putin a fourth term in the Kremlin, but which comes as the country appears increasingly isolated.
The crisis erupted after Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to a Soviet-designed nerve agent on March 4 in the English city of Salisbury, leaving them in critical condition.
London has blamed Moscow and on Friday, even directly implicated Putin in the attack, prompting the Kremlin’s fury.
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