Russia vows to react to 'provocative' expulsions of diplomats

Bikini-clad Russian women brave icy waters in Far East

Fourteen EU member countries have chose to support the United States decision to expel Russian diplomats, including France, Germany, Ukraine, and Poland.

The White House said 48 Russian agents serving as diplomats in the embassy in Washington would be expelled, along with 12 others operating out of the Russian mission to the United Nations in NY. France and Germany have announced the expulsion of four Russian diplomats each.

Earlier this month, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Russia had poisoned Sergei Skripal, a Russian double agent in England and his daughter, Yulia, on March 4.

The officials being expelled from the USA include 48 in the Russian embassy and 12 from the Russian UN mission - who the U.S. say are spies.

She said the USA stands ready to cooperate to build a better relationship with Russia, but this can only happen with a change in the Russian governments behaviour.

His Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevicius told AFP that three Russian embassy officials were expelled "for activities incompatible with their diplomatic status".

The expelled Russians will have seven days to leave the U.S, said the officials.

The Russian spy and his daughter remain in critical condition.

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European Union leaders last week said evidence of Russian involvement in the attack presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May was a solid basis for further action.

Whatever the denials, Britain's allies have clearly accepted its view that the use of a military grade nerve agent in Salisbury was "highly likely" the work of the Russian state. There was no immediate reaction from Russian Federation on Friday to the US announcement.

"With today's action, we are removing a large number of the unacceptably numerous Russian intelligence officers who abide in the United States", the official said. The Russian consulate in Seattle is to be closed "due to its proximity to one of our submarines bases and Boeing", the aerospace company.

Russian Federation denies having any role in the March 4 attack.

Moscow will expel at least 60 USA diplomats in response to Washington's move which it linked to double agent Skripal's poisoning, Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov said. "No one canceled Brexit, and the divorce process is in full swing", Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

He said Ukraine's diplomatic relations with Russian Federation had been "de facto frozen" since Russian Federation annexed Crimea in 2014 and began to support separatists in country's east.

"Additional measures, including further expulsions within this common European Union framework are not to be excluded in the coming days and weeks", he said.

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