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Welcome Back to the Cold War: Russia tells 23 countries that envoys must go

By: Associated Press– @inquirerdotnet
Associated Press / 10:39 PM March 30, 2018

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A van leaves the U.S. consulate in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, March 30, 2018. Russia announced the expulsion of more than 150 diplomats, including 60 Americans, on Thursday and said it was closing a U.S. consulate in retaliation for the wave of Western expulsions of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter in Britain, a tit-for-tat response that intensified the Kremlin’s rupture with the United States and Europe. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

PETERSBURG, Russia – Russia’s Foreign Ministry says it has informed ambassadors of most of the countries that ordered expulsion of Russian diplomats that an equal number of their diplomats have been declared persona non grata.

A ministry statement Friday said the ambassadors were from 23 of the countries that are expelling Russians in connection with the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian double agent and his daughter. Russia on Thursday announced it was expelling 60 US diplomats and closing the consulate in St. Petersburg in retaliation for Washington’s moves.

The countries informed Friday of expulsions were Australia, Albania, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Finland, France, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Estonia.

It said it Russia would consider mirror expulsions of diplomats from Belgium, Hungary, Georgia and Montenegro.

The statement did not mention NATO, which is expelling seven Russians.

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