Rus­sia ex­pels en­voys from 23 na­tions as spy cri­sis es­ca­lates

‘ The at­tempted as­sas­si­na­tion of two peo­ple on Bri­tish soil, for which there is no al­ter­na­tive con­clu­sion other than that the Rus­sian state was cul­pa­ble,’ a spokes­woman for UK’s for­eign of­fice said ◗

The Asian Age - - Front Page - — AFP

Mos­cow, March 30: The Rus­sian for­eign min­istry said in a state­ment that it had sum­moned the heads of mis­sions from 23 coun­tries ear­lier to tell them that some of their diplo­mats had to leave the coun­try.

Ger­many and Poland each said that Rus­sia was ex­pelling four of their diplo­mats. Among the other coun­tries that had sim­i­larly been told to pull en­voys were the Nether­lands, Swe­den, the Czech Repub­lic, Fin­land and Lithua­nia.

The Rus­sian for­eign min­istry also gave Bri­tain a month to cut its num­ber of diplo­matic staff in Rus­sia to the same num­ber as Rus­sia has in Bri­tain.

The moves are in re­tal­i­a­tion to a co­or­di­nated ex­pul­sion of Rus­sian diplo­mats by Bri­tain and its al­lies over a nerve agent at­tack against for­mer dou­ble agent Sergei Skri­pal and his daugh­ter Yu­lia Skri­pal in the English city of Sal­is­bury on March 4.

“This is cer­tainly not a sur­prise,” Dutch for­eign min­is­ter Stef Blok said through a spokes­woman, re­fer­ring to Mos­cow’s ex­pul­sion of two of the coun­try’s diplo­mats.

In Bri­tain, the gov­ern­ment re­mained adamant that Rus­sia was in the wrong.

“Rus­sia is in fla­grant breach of in­ter­na­tional law and the Chem­i­cal Weapons Con­ven­tion and ac­tions by coun­tries around the world have demon­strated the depth of in­ter­na­tional con­cern,” a spokes­woman for the Bri­tain’s for­eign of­fice said.

■ PUTIN SAID that Sar­mat weighs 200 met­ric tons.

■ IT CAN carry over 10- 15 nu­clear war­heads.

■ THE WAR­HEADS are ca­pa­ble of dodg­ing mis­sile de­fences.

■ MASS PRO­DUC­TION from 2020.

Mos­cow, March 30: Rus­sia has suc­cess­fully tested its lat­est in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile, the coun­try’s mil­i­tary said on Fri­day.

The De­fence Min­istry said the launch from Ple­setsk in north­west­ern Rus­sia tested the Sar­mat mis­sile’s per­for­mance in the ini­tial stage of its flight.

Sar­mat is in­tended to re­place the Sovi­et­de­signed Voyevoda, the world’s heav­i­est ICBM that is known as “Satan” in the West.

Pre­sent­ing Sar­mat and an ar­ray of other nu­clear weapons ear­lier this month, Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin said that they can’t be in­ter­cepted.

Putin said that Sar­mat weighs 200 met­ric tons and has a higher range than Satan, al­low­ing it to fly over the North or the South Poles and strike tar­gets any­where in the world.

He added that Sar­mat can carry over 10- 15 nu­clear war­heads, which are more pow­er­ful than the ones on Satan and it is ca­pa­ble of fly­ing at su­per­sonic speed.

The Rus­sian pres­i­dent also said the new ICBM ac­cel­er­ates faster than its pre­de­ces­sor, mak­ing it harder for the enemy to in­ter­cept in its most vul­ner­a­ble phase af­ter the launch.

He also said Sar­mat could carry an ar­ray of war­heads ca­pa­ble of dodg­ing mis­sile de­fenses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.