The Russian government retaliated against the Trump administration’s decision to expel dozens of Kremlin diplomats this week; booting at least 60 US agents after the White House accused Putin of carrying out an assassination plot on British soil.
According to the BBC, Russia is poised to deport 60 American diplomats and close the US consulate in St. Petersburg; escalating tensions between the Kremlin and NATO nations following the botched poison plot.
“More than 20 countries have expelled Russian envoys, in solidarity with the UK, which has blamed Moscow for the attack,” writes the BBC. “Russia has vehemently denied any role. [Former spy] Skripal remains in a critical but stable condition. His daughter’s condition is said to be improving.”
The move comes as tensions between the US and Russia ratcheted up in recent weeks after the special counsel’s office officially indicted 13 Kremlin-backed agents for interfering in the 2016 race for the White House.
PUTIN'S WARNING: Russia Accuses Trump of ‘GRAVE MISTAKE’ After Booting 60 Diplomats
Russia’s ambassador to the United States slammed the Trump administration’s recent expulsion of 60 Kremlin diplomats earlier Monday; saying the White House made a “grave mistake” by ejecting the foreign agents and shuttering its consulate in Seattle.
According to the New York Post, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov called the move a “very bad step,” adding the United States “will understand what kind of grave mistake they did and I hope that maybe in the future our relations will be restored.”
Amb. Antonov warned the Trump administration of an “adequate response” in the coming days.
The war of words between the US and Russia escalated this week after the United States sided with its European allies and blamed Moscow on the recent nerve agent attack targeting a former spy on British soil; the first since attack since the end of World War II.
The expulsion of the Russian diplomats comes as the UK deports at least 23 foreign-agents as the fallout between the NATO allies and the Kremlin continues.
RUSSIAN REJECTS: The President DEPORTS DOZENS of Russian Diplomats
President Trump officially expelled over 60 Russian agents Monday morning; shuttering a Seattle consulate and booting the Kremlin-backed diplomats over Vladimir Putin’s illegal assassination plot on British soil last week.
The United States and its European allies announced the joint decision in response to Russia’s use of a deadly nerve agent to eliminate a former spy earlier this month; the first use of a chemical weapon on European soil since the end of the Second World War.
According to Yahoo News, the diplomats will have just seven days to leave the US.
“With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences,” said a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The move comes just days after the United Kingdom expelled 23 Russian agents from its borders; following a heated exchange between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian government denies any responsibility for the attack; demanding to see evidence from British officials.