Russia has finally come out strongly against the US diplomatic expulsions and has served official notice to 60 US diplomats to leave the country by April 5. Additionally, the US Consulate at Yekaterinburg has been ordered to shut down and also written a protest note to Jon Huntsman the US ambassador to Moscow against the outrageous and unwarranted diplomatic action against Moscow. Russia stated in an official statement that the whole action was basically made on the “principle of reciprocity”.
The US responded quickly and stated that the Russian response is completely misplaced and is a clear message that it is not pursuing dialogue. While the US expulsions were in solidarity with Britain, there is no valid justification for Russian action.
Last week over 24 countries from Europe and US, Canada and Australia had expelled over 120 Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK accusations over Russian involvement in the nerve agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal a former Russian spy and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. NATO has also asked seven Russian officials working in the mission to leave.
Yulia is said to have improved and is no more critical while Sergei Skripal is still critical yet stable. Although PM May has stated that she has proof about Russian involvement in the attack, Russia has denied all allegations and called it an absolute trickery. OPCW the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has arrived in the UK to collect samples of the substance which poisoned the Skripals and is expected to show results by April 2. UK government has constantly maintained that the nerve agent used in the attack was developed by Russia during Soviet era.