Russia expelling foreign, including Ukrainian, diplomats in "mirror response"
The Kremlin says a decision was made to kick out diplomats representing 23 countries as a mirror response to the expulsion of staff of Russian diplomatic missions over the spy poisoning case.
Russia is expelling 13 Ukrainian diplomats, the same number Kyiv ordered out earlier, according to MFA Russia.
Among the states, besides Ukraine, whose diplomats must leave Russia are Australia, Albania, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Finland, France, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Estonia.
Also the foreign ministry added that they "reserve the right" to take retaliation steps against Belgium, Hungary, Georgia and Montenegro, which had made a "last minute call" to join the international effort against Russia.
Read alsoU.S. State Department on expulsion of its diplomats: No justification for Russian responseAs UNIAN reported earlier, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned ambassadors of countries that had earlier expelled Russian diplomats over the Salisbury poisoning, the aggressive act which many countries declared a violation of international law on the part of Russia.
Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in the UK with the use of a military-grade nerve agent the investigation and intelligence suggests was produced in Russia.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said that Russian special services had stood behind the attempted murder. In a retaliation move, the United Kingdom expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Another 28 countries have joined the effort, among them Ukraine, which expelled 13 Russian diplomats.