State of play over Russian envoy expulsions


Paris (AFP)

The United States, EU members, NATO and other nations across three continents have announced the expulsion of over 150 Russian diplomats in a coordinated action against Moscow which they accuse of poisoning an ex-spy in Britain.

Here is a list updated to Wednesday of the countries involved and the number of Russians already expelled or put on notice to leave.

- US, Canada, Australia -

The United States: Expelled 60 alleged "spies" posted around the country and at the Russian mission to the United Nations.

It also closed the Russian consulate in Seattle over alleged spying at the nearby Kitsap submarine base and Boeing.

The retaliation against Moscow was taken "in response to Russia's use of a military-grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Canada: Ousted four diplomats, calling the nerve agent attack "a despicable, heinous and reckless act".

Australia: Followed suit with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying two Russian diplomats had seven days to leave.

- NATO -

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was expelling seven Russian diplomats and denying accreditation to three more.

"This will send a clear message to Russia that there are costs and consequences for their unacceptable pattern of behaviour," Stoltenberg said.

- European Union -

Eighteen EU nations have joined Britain in deciding to expel Russian diplomats following a European Council decision last week to react to Moscow within a common framework.

"Additional measures including further expulsions are not to be excluded in the coming days and weeks," EU President Donald Tusk said.

Britain: Already kicked out 23 Russian diplomats, with Moscow retaliating with a tit-for-tat move.

Belgium: One diplomat

Croatia: One diplomat

Czech Republic: Three diplomats

Denmark: Two diplomats

Estonia: One diplomat

France: Four diplomats

Finland: One diplomat

Germany: Four diplomats

Hungary: One diplomat

Ireland: One diplomat

Italy: Two diplomats

Latvia: One diplomat

Lithuania: Three diplomats

Netherlands: Two diplomats

Poland: Four diplomats

Romania: One diplomat

Spain: Two diplomats

Sweden: One diplomat

- Outside EU -

Albania: Two diplomats

Macedonia: One diplomat

Moldova: three diplomats

Norway: One diplomat

Ukraine: 13 diplomats

President Petro Poroshenko called for even more action to be taken.

"The next step is to increase the price that Moscow has to pay for its international crimes, including the strengthening of personal, financial and economic sanctions," he said.

Additionally, EU members Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovakia have recalled their ambassadors for consultations but my Wednesday had yet to expel any Russians