After having determined that Russia may have been responsible for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England, the UK had decided to kick out all of the Russian diplomats from the country. In a show of solidarity, 14 EU member states followed suit. According to a report from the BBC, President Donald Trump immediately reacted to the situation by ordering the removal of all 60 Russian diplomats currently in the United States. The president also ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle. A majority of the diplomats are currently based at the embassy in Washington, while others are stationed at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Several EU member states announced their decision immediately after the UK expelled its Russian diplomats. Countries such as Germany, France, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania summoned all of its Russian ambassadors and instructed them immediately proceed to its foreign ministries. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently announced that it has decided to expel all 13 Russian diplomats from the country “in the spirit of solidarity” and a show of support for its allies.
As reported by CNBC, after having been accused of initiating the attack, the Kremlin outright denied any involvement in the poisoning of the former Russian spy. Despite having denied any involvement in the attack, Russia announced that it would retaliate “proportionately” by ordering diplomats to immediately leave the country. The country may eventually expel other diplomats from other countries that will support the UK.
Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, both British citizens, were reportedly exposed to a nerve gas agent by an unknown assailant earlier in the month. Both of them were reportedly found unconscious in southwest England. A police officer, who was one of the first responders at the scene, was also poisoned during the attack. All three people were immediately rushed to the hospital and are still in critical, but stable condition. Authorities have not yet revealed the specific type of chemical weapon used during the attack.
The U.S. State Department released a statement just recently to announce its decision to support its European allies. The statement also condemned the attack and called it a direct violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which essentially is a breach of international law.