North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to expel seven Russians over spy poisoning

NATO cuts Russian permanent mission by one third

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to expel seven Russians over spy poisoning

On Tuesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced the organization is expelling seven staff members from the Russian mission and denying the accreditation of three others.

The United States, the European Union nations and some other countries, including Ireland, have announced they would expel a total of more than 130 Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian intelligence officer and his daughter in Britain.

This week's coordinated expulsions have echoed Britain's action in response to the March 4 attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury. In order to make a point that attacks on foreign soil will be dealt with iron fist, 25 partners and members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have expelled at least 140 top ranking Russians working in the concerned countries ever since the news of Skripal's poisoning has surfaced.

"I would ask my Security Council colleagues to consider whether we are wrong when we point to Russian and Iranian forces working alongside (Syrian President Bashar) Assad as being responsible for this slaughter", she said.

London and its allies have blamed Moscow, citing the use of a Soviet-designed nerve agent Novichok, Russia's record of targeting dissidents and its history of aggression in recent years, from Crimea to cyber-attacks. Numerous countries to follow suit on Monday said they did so out of solidarity with the British government.

'We'll respond, have no doubt! "No one wants to put up with such loutish behaviour and we won't", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the sidelines of a conference in Uzbekistan.

"We know for certain that this is a result of colossal pressure and colossal blackmail, which is Washington's chief instrument in the worldwide scene", said Lavrov.

May says "their condition is unlikely to change in the near future, and they may never recover fully". More than 50 people have been assessed in hospitals.

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