RIA: Moscow to Respond Appropriately to US Expulsion of Russian Envoys

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On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, made a joint statement saying that two Russian diplomats have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers and will be asked to leave the country within seven days.

Similar moves were taken the day before by16 countries of the European Union, as well as the US, Canada, Norway, Ukraine and several other countries.

It takes into account advice from the UK Government that the substance used on 4 March was a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russian Federation.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow called the wave of expulsions "an unfriendly step".

Hua responded to the decision of the U.S. and over 20 other countries to expel nearly 100 Russian diplomats in their territories in support of the United Kingdom, which did the same last week with 23 Russian officials in retaliation for the alleged poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, Xinhua news agency reported.

Faced with a barrage of questions from journalists, the Russian embassy in Bucharest issued a very short statement, labelling Romania's decision to declare a Russian diplomat persona non grata "an expression of madness".

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Britain has already expelled 23 Russian diplomats, with Moscow retaliating with a tit-for-tat move. The Russian embassy in Washington asked its Twitter followers to vote on which USA consulate should be closed, listing those in Vladivostok, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg as options. Iceland said Monday that it would send no government officials to Russian Federation to accompany its team to the football World Cup this summer. "If we did, we would expel them", Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told state radio.

The fallout from the poisoning of a Russian former spy in Britain escalated as the Russian embassies in Washington and London weighed in on the expulsion of scores of Russian diplomats from more than 25 countries. A British policeman who was exposed to the nerve agent when he responded to the attack on the former Russian officer has now been released from treatment.

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