Britain Hails 'Turning Point' After Mass Expulsion Of Russian Diplomats

by Abel Hampton March 28, 2018, 0:42
Britain Hails 'Turning Point' After Mass Expulsion Of Russian Diplomats

Addressing the lower house of Czech Parliament and later talking to reporters, House Speaker Paul Ryan says: "solidarity on this frontier of freedom is more important than ever".

"It is important that we work in solidarity with each other, free people in democracies to stop Russian Federation and condemn Russian Federation for this kind of belligerent activity", Ryan said.

Ryan also accused Russian Federation of spreading disinformation and engaging in cyberattacks.

In Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters that Russian Federation "has the potential to be a partner" with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members but had "chosen to seek a different relationship".

Governments of 24 countries around the world have expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the Skripals, an unprecedented global response to the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War II.

Russia has denied any role in the attack, and has blamed an anti-Russian mania in the West for prompting the allegations.

The alliance will also deny pending accreditation requests for three others, and reduce the maximum size of the mission to 20 people, down from 30, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that NATO's expulsion of Russian diplomats showed the alliance was still relevant, adding that Moscow had the potential to be a partner with Europe but had chosen a different path.

He said: "It sends a very clear message to Russian Federation that it has costs".

Top EU lawmaker Guy Verhofstadt wants the European Union to sharpen sanctions on the Kremlin if necessary but also insists on a broader strategy to reach out to Russians in general.

Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed the move and said it sent a strong message to Moscow that it can not ignore global law.

Irish deputy premier and foreign minister Simon Coveney said: "The use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic chemicals as weapons, by anyone, anywhere, is particularly shocking and abhorrent".

With Downing Street saying that more than 115 Russian diplomats had been ordered home by friends and allies, Dublin added one more to the list.

In retaliation, Moscow expelled an equal number of British diplomats and closed a British consular mission.

Pressure on Moscow is mounting as Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from his country earlier on Tuesday.

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