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US expels 60 Russian diplomats and closes consulate in Seattle

The US Administration has decided to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspend operation of the Russian consulate in Seattle, the Associated Press reports.

The measure is to be seen as an act of solidarity with the UK government that expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the Russian diplomatic mission in London last week.

Sources at the US administration say the diplomats to be expelled include “12 intelligence officers” who supposedly were working under the diplomatic cover in Washington.

As for the Russian consular office in Seattle, it is reportedly “too close to the US navy base.” The American side is frightened with the “inadmissibly high numbers” of Russian spies in the United States.

The diplomats and their families are given several days to pack their belongings and leave the country, according to the AP.

As EADaily reported earlier, on March 26, ambassadors of the Russian Federations were summoned to the foreign ministries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland in connection with the response to the “Skripal case.” Simultaneously, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas confirmed that four Russian diplomats are to be expelled from the country.

On March 21, Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov said that Moscow sees the attack against Yulia Skripal as a terror attack against Russian citizen in the territory of Great Britain. Yermakov stressed that either Britain cannot guarantee protection from terror attacks in its territory or it was “directly or indirectly” the conductor of the offense.

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