The United States in coordination with 9 more of Britain’s allies, decided in the last week to agree with the expulsions of Russian diplomats, who were considered to be intelligence officers. This movement of expelling Russian diplomats kept growing from the past week and this week it included 27 countries. According to the numbers put together by the Associated Press, a total of more than 150 Russian diplomats have been expelled.
While Trump remains silent, White House finally responds to Russian expulsion of 60 US diplomats in written statement: "Russia’s response was not unanticipated, and the United States will deal with it."
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) March 29, 2018
The ratio of this coordinated movement was uneven, Paris and Berlin limited the expelling of only four diplomats each, whereas 60 diplomats were expelled by the U.S. alone. These uneven numbers have put forward expectations in Russia that France and Germany are still willing to keep things good with Putin. The number of expelled Russian diplomats in most of the nations was single digits. In response U.S expelling 60 Russian diplomats, Russia has decided to expel 60 US diplomats.
The decision of closing the American consulate in St. Petersburg and expelling 60 U.S. diplomats has been made which is being taken as a response to Monday’s coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States and other countries.
U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman was called to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday night and there the Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told him about the response Russia had decided on.
Russia has "no justification" for expelling 60 US diplomats & forcing St. Pete consulate closure says @statedeptspox – she describes it as "regrettably unwarranted action" which will "further isolate" Russia
— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) March 29, 2018
It was told in a statement given by the Foreign Ministry that it was decided that 58 American diplomats from the Moscow embassy and two from the consulate in Yekaterinburg will be expelled. 60 Russian diplomats were expelled by the United States on Monday.
As told in a Foreign Ministry report regarding Huntsman’s meeting with Ryabkov, the U.S. ambassador harshly condemned Russia’s decision and also warned that a step like this will have the “gravest consequences for global stability.”
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “It is clear from the list provided to us that the Russian Federation is not interested in dialogue on the issues that matter to our two countries.” She added: “We reserve the right to respond.”
It has also been reported that the United States has closed Russia’s consulate in Seattle also in addition to expelling 60 Russian diplomats on Monday — the US officials claimed it to be supposedly being used by Russians for intelligence activities.
— Patrick Hussion (@PatrickHussion) March 29, 2018
It is considered by officials that Russia was potentially responsible for the attack because Novichok, the nerve agent which was utilized in the attack, was developed by the Soviet Union. Russian officials, on the other hand, say that no solid proof or evidence has been given by Britain which backs up their accusations.