The Cold War-style expulsion of 139 Russian diplomats is part of a global response by two dozen countries to the Kremlin’s alleged role in the use of a nerve agent on British soil.
The United States is expelling 60 Russians -- 48 are attached to Russian diplomatic missions while 12 work at the UN in New York. Washington has shut the Russian consulate in Seattle due to its proximity to a Trident nuclear submarine base and Boeing.
Moscow has already expelled 23 British diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to London’s expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and their families on March 20. Moscow also closed the British consulate in St Petersburg and the British Council cultural body.
The RIA news agency quoted Russian senator Vladimir Dzhabarov as saying Moscow will dismiss at least 60 staff from U.S. diplomatic missions.
RIA also quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry source as saying: “The response will be symmetrical. We will work on it in the coming days and will respond to every country in turn.”