Group think? US will expel Russian diplomats – if the EU does first

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American President Donald Trump is ready to expel Russian diplomats from the United States because of the Skripal poisoning, reports Bloomerg.

According to sources, Trump agreed with the recommendations of his advisers. The expulsion of diplomats is likely to be announced on Monday, March 26. At the same time, the interlocutors of the agency fear that the president’s decision is not final.

According to sources, before sending diplomats home, Trump wants to make sure that the European allies of the United States will do the same.

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Trump discussed this issue with the US ambassador to Moscow John Huntsman, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Minister of Trade Wilbur Ross, the Defense Minister James Mattis, the director of national reconnaissance Dan Coates, the outgoing national security adviser Herbert McMaster and others, the agency said.

As State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said, “The US is considering various options for answering Russia’s outrageous actions in Britain in order to demonstrate solidarity with our ally and to hold Russia accountable for a clear violation of international norms and agreements.” 

Earlier, the British newspaper The Times  wrote that the expulsion of Russian diplomats is being prepared by two dozen European countries, including France, Germany, Poland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Such steps are seen as measures against Russia by the EU, but each country will make a decision on its own.

London has already expelled 23 Russian diplomats and has frozen all contacts with Moscow at the highest level. Russia responded with a mirrored action, declaring the employees of the British embassy as persons non grata, withdrawing permission to open a consulate in St. Petersburg and stopping the work of the British Council, which Russia claims was also an undercover MI6 operation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called all the accusations against Russia nonsense. He stressed that the entire arsenal of Russian chemical weapons was destroyed in recent years under the supervision of international observers. He also said that Moscow is ready to cooperate in investigating the case of the poisoning, but for this  London needs to show similar interest.

The State Duma noted that if the United States goes to expel Russian diplomats, Moscow will immediately take mirrored measures.

A reminder that no evidence has been brought to light on the origin of the alleged gas used to poison the Skripals.

 

Source RIA
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