North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expels seven Russian staff in solidarity with United Kingdom over Salisbury attack

28 March 2018, 12:34 | Isaac Mcdaniel

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expels seven Russian staff in solidarity with United Kingdom over Salisbury attack

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expels seven Russian staff in solidarity with United Kingdom over Salisbury attack

Nato's boss Jens Stoltenberg said it would expel seven Russian diplomats, and would deny accreditation to another three as part of the push for the worldwide community to punish Putin for the spy poisoning.

"NATO remains committed to our dual-track approach of strong defense and openness to dialogue, including by working to prepare the next meeting of the NATO-Russia Council".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is awaiting a new Russian ambassador following the departure of Alexander Grushko.

A spokesperson for Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said it was "very likely" Russian Federation was responsible for the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that the intensive consultations have taken place among NATO allies following the "attack in Salisbury" against Skripal and his daughter.

Sergei Skripal, a Russian military intelligence officer imprisoned by Moscow after being convicted of passing on information about Russian agents in various European countries, came to Britain in a 2010 spy swap. The USA will expel the largest number of Russian diplomats - 60 people in total.

"The Prime Minister said the conditions demonstrate the continuing strength of our European. transatlantic and global alliances and partnerships".

Many EU countries also ordered Russian diplomats out.

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Moscow has fiercely denied any involvement in his attempted murder, instead pointing the finger at London.

Outside the EU, Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Macedonia, and Norway also announced expulsions.

"This is the result of colossal pressure, colossal blackmail which is the main instrument of Washington on the worldwide arena", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday.

Ireland also announced it was ordering one Russian diplomat to leave.

Russia's ambassadors in Poland as well as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have been summoned to those countries' foreign ministries, said the reports.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, hinted the Kremlin would respond with tit-for-tat expulsions, saying Russian Federation would proceed from the "principle of reciprocity".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow regrets these moves of the Western countries, and Russia's diplomatic authorities will analyze the situation and propose response measures to President Vladimir Putin for his final decision.

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