The U.S. Consulate closing down in Saint Petersburg, while Moscow orders the expulsion of envoys from some 20 other diplomatic missions.
It’s the latest back and forth after the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in Britain. CGTN’s Toby Muse reports on the diplomatic clash.
Russia has ordered more British envoys to leave the country, as a crisis deepens over the poisoning of a former spy in Britain.
A coalition of the U.K., the U.S. and at least two dozen other mainly Western countries have expelled more than 150 Russians.
Russia is promising to respond and Friday, the Russian foreign ministry summoned ambassadors from the U.K., Germany, France and others.
Russia ordered the U.K. to reduce its number of diplomats to the same level Russia now has in London.
“It’s important to bear in mind why this crisis has arisen in the first place, it’s the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of the United Kingdom that has threatened the lives of a number of people in my country. We asked certain questions at the Russian state and we have still not received adequate answers to those questions,” said Laurie Bristow, British Ambassador to Russia.
Earlier this month, Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats following the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter by a nerve agent. The U.K., backed by a host of other western countries, blames Russia for the poisoning. Russia denies it was responsible.
The U.S. has expelled 60 Russian diplomats and ordered the closing of Russia’s consulate in Seattle. Russia has reacted by demanding the U.S. close its consulate in St. Petersburg and expelling U.S. diplomatic personnel.
The tit for tat expulsions showed just how frayed relations are between Russia and the West, leading some to wonder whether this is the beginning of a new Cold War.
Lauren Goodrich on diplomatic clash between Russia and allies of the UK
Is Russia’s latest expulsion of diplomats retaliation or just tit-for-tat? CGTN’s Mike Walter asked Lauren Goodrich about this episode. She’s a Senior Eurasia Analyst at Stratfor in Austin Texas.