US and several EU countries expel Russian diplomats after Skripal poisoning

Sixty Russian officials expelled by the US, as 14 EU countries and the Ukraine announce similar action over nerve agent poisoning

Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned in a suspected Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury early in March
Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned in a suspected Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury early in March

The United States has expelled 60 Russian diplomats in reaction to the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, as 14 European Union members states and the Ukraine announced the expulsion of dozens of others from their countries.

Germany, France and Poland said they would each be expelling four Russian diplomats who have intelligence agency backgrounds, Lithuania is to expel three diplomats and ban 44 Russian nationals for entering the country, and the Ukraine will expel 13 diplomats.

This comes as the UK expelled 23 diplomats a fortnight ago, after it blamed Russia for the poisoning in Salisbury earlier in March. Russia had reacted by expelling the same number of British diplomats.

Theresa May had told MPs in the House of Commons that there was no alternative but to conclude the Russian state had been responsible for the nerve agent attack, emphasising that it had been an “unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom”.

EU heads of states reached similar conclusions last week, with the EU also looking at taking coordinated action to target Russian hybrid warfare.

However, certain EU countries, namely Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain, and former Eastern-bloc countries Bulgaria and Hungary are hesitant to take any specific action.

More in World

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe