US kicks out 60 Russian diplomats over spy case - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

US kicks out 60 Russian diplomats over spy case

Posted: Updated:
WARSAW, Poland -

The United States is kicking out 60 Russian diplomats and ordering Russia's consulate in Seattle to close in response to the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.
  
Senior Trump administration officials say the expelled Russians include 12 spies who the U.S. believes are working under diplomatic cover at Russia's mission to the United Nations. They say the Seattle consulate is a counter-intelligence concern because of its proximity to a U.S. Navy base.
  
The officials say the actions are being taken to send a message about the "unacceptably high" number of Russian spies in the U.S. and to respond to the attack in the U.K. The officials weren't authorized to be identified by name and requested anonymity.
  
The expelled Russians will have seven days to leave the U.S.
  
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2:50 p.m.
  
Lithuania's foreign minister has strongly condemned the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain, saying his country is poised to expel Russian diplomats in response.
  
Linas Linkevicius said Monday "We have to do the utmost to show ... solidarity with our allies," and to come up with "coordinated measures" as well as national measures.
  
He said the attack was the first time after World War II that military chemical weapons were used on NATO, EU territory against civilians, adding these "methods... are not acceptable."
  
Asked whether the Baltic country would expel Russian diplomats, he said: "Lithuania will announce today national measures, including what you mentioned but not only that."
  
Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu also expressed solidarity with Britain and said authorities would announce measures later.
  
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2:40 p.m.
  
Poland has summoned Russia's ambassador for talks, and its foreign ministry is among several in Europe planning news conferences later Monday after EU chief Donald Tusk predicted that member states would introduce measures against Moscow over its suspected role in the spy poisoning case.
  
Ambassador Sergei Andreev said details will be released by the Polish side later in the day. Foreign ministries in Denmark, Estonia and other EU countries are expected to announce measures to reporters. In the U.S., the White House is also expected to make a statement.
  
Several EU countries said Friday they may follow Britain in expelling Russian diplomats in a deepening crisis over the nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian spy in England. Britain has blamed Russia, but Moscow denies responsibility.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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