Russia blames US for mass expulsions

The flag of the Russian Federation flies at the Russian Embassy in Washington, US, on March 27, 2018.
The flag of the Russian Federation flies at the Russian Embassy in Washington, US, on March 27, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

Russia has claimed that Washington had put "colossal pressure" on its allies to expel scores of Russian diplomats, and vowed to retaliate.

Monday's expulsion of more than 100 Russian spies and diplomats by two dozen countries may well pose practical challenges to the Kremlin's ability.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "We will respond, have no doubt! No one wants to put up with such loutish behaviour, and we won't."

The expulsions were a response to the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

Expulsions of Russian diplomats were ordered by the United States, Canada and Australia, as well as a number of European Union countries, Albania and Ukraine.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'Russia blames US for mass expulsions'. Print Edition | Subscribe