Spy attack: Canada expels four Russian diplomats

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The 60 people expelled from the USA include 48 attached to the Russian embassy and 12 at the country's mission to the United Nations.

Policemen stand guard in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, March 18, 2018.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada is expelling Russian diplomats "in solidarity with the United Kingdom".

Donald Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats from America on Monday as punishment for the Salisbury poisoning.

"The United States takes this action with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and partners around the world in response to Russia's use of military-grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom", said the officials.

"With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russian Federation that its actions have consequences", it noted.

It comes at a tricky time for Paris, which under Macron has tried to build a new relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, for trade and to seek influence with Russia over its engagement in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere.

Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a public bench in a shopping centre, and remain critically ill in hospital.

They remain in critical condition after exposure to a nerve agent, which, according to the British authorities, could have originated from Russian Federation.

The U.K. - along with several allies - placed the blame squarely on Russian Federation, which previously jailed Skripal for feeding information to the British intelligence services.

According to the official statement, these measures are in solidarity with the United Kingdom and are not directed against the Russian people, "with which Canadians have strong and fruitful ties".

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Germany: The German Foreign Ministry said Monday it would expel four diplomats. Countries such as Germany, France, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania summoned all of its Russian ambassadors and instructed them immediately proceed to its foreign ministries. "But we also need the Trump Administration to stand up for our own democracy".

Canada is joining the United States and other European Union members in taking diplomatic action against Russian Federation.

Senior officials wanted the actions to tell the Kremlin "when you attack our friends, you will face serious consequences".

The Trump administration also closed Russia's consulate in Seattle.

On March 17 Russian Federation says it will expel 23 British diplomats and halt the activities of the British Council in Russian Federation.

"Additional measures, including further expulsions ... are not to be excluded in the coming days and weeks", European Council President Donald Tusk said Monday, speaking in Bulgaria. If it were up to him, he said, he'd be taking more aggressive actions, such as revealing "financial information that would embarrass Putin on the world stage", or other actions that would "really cut into him" economically.

Of the 60 Russian officials the USA has expelled, 48 are from the Russian embassy in Washington and 12 are posted at the United Nations.

"The unfriendly step of this group of countries will not pass without a trace, we will react to it", the statement said. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently announced that it has made a decision to expel all 13 Russian diplomats from the country "in the spirit of solidarity" and a show of support for its allies.

Russian Federation has expelled 23 British diplomats and closed the British consulate in St Petersburg and the British Council cultural body.

Russia's Consulate General in Seattle must close by April 2.

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