List of countries expelling Russian diplomats

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The staff expelled by the United States included 12 intelligence officers from Russia's mission to United Nations headquarters in NY. "This is a political message of solidarity, given the character of the attack in the United Kingdom which is our ally and partner in the European Union and NATO", Plenković said, declining to comment on the possibility of Moscow responding in a reciprocal fashion and reveal the name of the Russian diplomat to be expelled.

Ukraine also announced it was expelling 13 Russian diplomats.

Slovakia's foreign ministry meanwhile said it preferred, instead of expulsions, to look at "more options" after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the British city of Salisbury. Lithuania said it would expel three Russian diplomats and ban 44 Russian nationals from entering the country.

The collective expulsions from the USA and 14 EU member states is a remarkable show of solidarity with Britain, even more so because it comes at a time when UK-EU relations are strained due to the Brexit negotiations.

"We welcome today's actions by our allies, which clearly demonstrate that we all stand shoulder to shoulder in sending the strongest signal to Russian Federation that it can not continue to flout global law", a statement from Mrs May's office said. OTHERS - Moscow will expel at least 60 staff from US diplomatic missions in Russia, RIA news agency quoted Russian senator Vladimir Dzhabarov as saying.

- HUNGARY, SWEDEN, CROATIA, ROMANIA, FINLAND, ESTONIA: One Russian diplomat expelled from each country.

"We remain critical of the actions of the Russian government", Tusk added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for coordinated measures by European Union members and the group's ambassadors were meeting in Brussels to discuss action against Russian Federation.

The Seattle consulate was targeted for closure because it was near a submarine base, and although it was not linked to a particular activity there, it was meant to "degrade Russian spying operations on the West Coast of the United States, the official said".

Russia's Foreign Ministry called the actions a "provocative gesture" and promised to respond.

The move comes as part of a coordinated effort by European Union nations and the U.S. to punish Russian Federation over the brazen nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4. The US will also order the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle.

Britain has accused Moscow of perpetrating the attack using a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok.

"The US is destroying whatever is left of its relations with Russia", Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said.

In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry accused Britain's allies of "blindly following the principle of Euro-Atlantic solidarity in violation of common sense, norms of civilised worldwide dialogue and global law".

The United States has meanwhile made a decision to expel 60 Russian "spies".

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