WH: Russia’s Expulsion of U.S. Diplomats ‘Marks a Further Deterioration’ in US-Russia Relationship

By Melanie Arter | March 30, 2018 | 10:09am EDT
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House reacted to news that Russia has expelled 60 U.S. diplomats and closed the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg, saying that it “marks a further deterioration in the United States-Russia relationship.”

The move comes after President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats from the United States in retaliation for the nerve agent attack on a former spy and his daughter in the U.K.

“Russia’s action today to expel American diplomats marks a further deterioration in the United States-Russia relationship,” the White House said in a statement.

“The expulsion of undeclared Russian intelligence officers by the United States and more than two dozen partner nations and NATO allies earlier this week was an appropriate response to the Russian attack on the soil of the United Kingdom  Russia’s response was not unanticipated, and the United States will deal with it,” the statement added.

Two dozen countries, including the U.K., Canada, the EU, and NATO expelled Russian diplomats from their respective countries also in retaliation for the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who were found unconscious on a bench in the British city of Salisbury on March 4.

The U.S.-Russia expulsions are considered the largest since 1986.

 

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