NATO expels 7 Russian diplomats after nerve agent poisoning in UK

NATO expels 7 Russian diplomats after nerve agent poisoning in UK

Moscow continues to deny involvement in a
nerve agent attack on one of its former spies, but it seems the rest of the world is not
convinced. NATO is the latest to join in other nations
in expelling Russian diplomats in response to the assassination that took place in Britain. Ro Aram has the full story. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced
Tuesday that the alliance will expel seven staff from the Russian mission. It will also deny pending accreditation requests
for three others. The move will reduce the size of Russian mission
by a third from 30 to 20. Stoltenberg said the decision would send a
strong message to Moscow. “”This sends a clear message to Russia that
there are costs and consequences for its unacceptable and dangerous pattern of behavior. And it follows Russia’s lack of constructive
response to what happened in Salisbury.” NATO made a similar move three years ago in
response to the Russian annexation of Crimea, in which it cut the number of Russian staff
by half. Tuesday’s move comes just a day after more
than two dozen countries expelled more than a hundred Russian diplomats in a coordinated
move over the nerve agent attack in Salisbury against Sergei Skripal and his daughter- which
Moscow denies any involvement. Russia has lashed out at the mass expulsion,
with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov placing the blame on the U.S. “We know that this is the result of colossal
pressure, colossal blackmail which is now unfortunately the main tool of Washington
on the international arena.” Russia’s foreign ministry is reported to be
drawing up retaliatory measures for President Vladimir Putin to consider. They could likely include tit-for-tat expulsions
of foreign diplomats in Russia. Ro Aram, Arirang News.

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