Russia Vows Imminent Response To Diplomat Expulsion "The US Only Understands Force"
25 March, 2018
“Unfriendly” action won’t be left unanswered.
U.K.’s allies are “blindly following” principle of Euro-Atlantic unity at the expense of common sense.
"I mentioned in my statement in the State Department that I consider these actions counterproductive," Antonov said.
"I said that the United States took a very bad step by cutting what very little still remains in terms of Russian-American relations."
The Russians and their families have seven days to leave the United States, according to officials.
The expulsions are the toughest action taken against the Kremlin by President Trump, who has been criticized for not being firm enough with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
In a call with reporters, senior White House officials said that the move was to root out Russians actively engaging in intelligence operations against the country, and to show that the United States would stand with NATO allies.
The officials said that the closure of the consulate in Seattle was ordered because of its proximity to a U.S. naval base.
"This was a reckless attempt by the government to murder a British citizens and his daughter on British soil with a nerve agent,"
"It cannot go unanswered."
Statement from the Press Secretary on the Expulsion of Russian Intelligence Officers
Today President Donald J. Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle due to its proximity to one of our submarine bases and Boeing. The United States takes this action in conjunction with our NATO allies and partners around the world in response to Russia's use of a military-grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom, the latest in its ongoing pattern of destabilizing activities around the world.
Today's actions make the United States safer by reducing Russia's ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations that threaten America's national security. With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences. The United States stands ready to cooperate to build a better relationship with Russia, but this can consequences. The United States stands ready to cooperate to build a better relationship with Russia, but this can only happen with a change in the Russian government's behavior.
The State Department's official statement:
Holding Russia Accountable for its Destabilizing Behavior
On March 4, Russia used a military-grade nerve agent to attempt to murder a British citizen and his daughter in Salisbury.
This attack on our Ally the United Kingdom put countless innocent lives at risk and resulted in serious injury to three people, including a police officer. In response to this outrageous violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and breach of international law, today the United States will expel 48 Russian officials serving at Russia's bilateral mission to the United States. We will also require the Russian government to close its Consulate General in Seattle by April 2, 2018. We take these actions to demonstrate our unbreakable solidarity with the United Kingdom, and to impose serious consequences on Russia for its continued violations of international norms.
Separately, we have begun the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission to the United Nations who have abused their privilege of residence in the United States.
The United States calls on Russia to accept responsibility for its actions and to demonstrate to the world that it is capable of living up to its international commitments and responsibilities as a member of the UN Security Council to uphold.
"To the Russian government, we say, when you attack our friend you will face serious consequences," said a senior administration official.
"As we have continually stressed to Moscow, the door to dialogue is open." But, this official continued, Russia must "cease its recklessly aggressive behavior."
“Already today 14 member states have decided to expel Russian diplomats; additional measures, including further expulsions within the common EU framework, are not to be excluded in the coming days and weeks”
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