Canada expels four Russian diplomats
Canada on Monday ordered the expulsion of four Russian diplomats and denied credentials for three others over the poisoning of a former spy in Britain.
"We are taking these measures in solidarity with the United Kingdom," Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
"The nerve agent attack in Salisbury, on the soil of Canada's close partner and ally, is a despicable, heinous and reckless act, potentially endangering the lives of hundreds," she said.
The four diplomats serving at either Russia's embassy in Ottawa or its consulate in Montreal have been "identified as intelligence officers or individuals who have used their diplomatic status to undermine Canada's security or interfere in our democracy."
Applications by Russia to add three more diplomatic staff in this country were denied for similar reasons.
Sergei Skripal, a former Russian officer who sold secrets to Britain and moved there in a 2010 spy swap, remains in critical condition along with his daughter, Yulia, after they were found unconscious on a park bench in the sleepy English city of Salisbury on March 4.
Britain says a military-grade nerve agent was used to poison them.
Freeland called the nerve agent attack "a clear threat to the rules-based international order" and a breach of conventions against chemical weapons use.
She added it was "part of a wider pattern of unacceptable behavior by Russia, including complicity with the Assad? regime (in Syria), the annexation of Crimea, Russian-led fighting in eastern Ukraine, support for civil strife in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and other neighboring countries, interference in elections, and disinformation campaigns."
© 2018 AFP