Dutch diplo­mats ex­pelled as Rus­sia starts to hit back

The Asian Age - - World -

Mos­cow, March 30: Rus­sia on Fri­day ex­pelled Dutch diplo­mats hit­ting back at EU coun­tries af­ter a co­or­di­nated cam­paign by the UK and its al­lies over a nerve agent at­tack on a for­mer spy.

Ear­lier in the day Rus­sia sum­moned the am­bas­sadors of a num­ber of na­tions in­clud­ing Bri­tain, France, Ger­many and Canada to in­form them of re­tal­ia­tory mea­sures.

Dutch am­bas­sador Re­nee Jones- Bos said she had been told two diplo­mats would be ex­pelled.

“Two of my col­leagues are leav­ing Mos­cow. But we ( the em­bassy) are stay­ing here,” state news agency TASS quoted her as say­ing.

Mos­cow has al­ready an­nounced that it would ex­pel 60 US diplo­mats and close Wash­ing­ton’s con­sulate in Saint Peters­burg af­ter the ex­pul­sion of its own diplo­mats and the clo­sure of one of its US con­sulates.

In all, more than 150 Rus­sian diplo­mats have been or­dered out of the US, EU mem­bers, NATO coun­tries and other na­tions in a co­or­di­nated ac­tion against Mos­cow, which they ac­cuse of be­ing in­volved in the poi­son­ing of ex- spy Sergei Skri­pal and his daugh­ter Yu­lia in a nerve agent at­tack in the English city of Sal­is­bury on March 4.

“The am­bas­sadors will be handed protest notes and told about the Rus­sian side’s re­tal­ia­tory mea­sures,” the for­eign min­istry said in a terse state­ment. The min­istry did not say what those steps would be, but Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov said Thurs­day that Mos­cow would re­spond with “tit­for­tat” mea­sures.

The flag of the United States flies out­side the US Con­sulate build­ing in St. Peters­burg on Fri­day. — AFP

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