Several EU countries said Friday they may follow Britain in expelling Russian diplomats in a deepening crisis over the nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian spy in England. Fourteen EU member countries have chose to support the U.S. decision to expel Russian diplomats, including France, Germany, Ukraine, and Poland.
The decision of a number of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other European countries to expel Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the former double-agent Sergei Skripal amounts to a "provocative act" and only harms global relations and the investigation of the incident, the Ministry said in a statement.
On March 4, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia suffered a chemical attack in Salisbury in Britain and were in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
The Czech Republic says it is expelling three Russian embassy staff, Estonia has expelled its Russian defence attache and Latvia is expelling one diplomat.
President Vladimir Putin will be the one to make a final decision on retaliatory measures against the United States and European countries that expelling Russian diplomats. The US has said that Russian Federation needs to change behavior for better relations. "We will work on it in the coming days and will respond to every country in turn".
It was highly likely Russian Federation was behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in southern England, using a military-grade nerve agent, European Union leaders agreed last week. "We did not take this decision lightly", foreign minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter.
Trump has also ordered the closure of the consulate in Seattle, which officials said was the focus of spying efforts against the nearby Kitsap submarine base and Boeing.
Britain has accused Moscow of perpetrating the attack using a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok.
The expulsion still leaves dozens of Russian intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover in the US.
The Russian foreign ministry said the moves demonstrated a continuation of a "confrontational path".
- UKRAINE: 13 Russian diplomats expelled.
Over 100 Russian diplomats are being banished from their posts around the world, and EU Council President Donald Tusk warned that further expulsions could lie ahead.
The move comes about 15 months after the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats in response to Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.