US describes Russia's expulsion of 60 US diplomats as regrettable

US describes Russia's expulsion of 60 US diplomats as regrettable

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Russian President Vladimir Putin. (File Photo: IANS)
Washington, March 30 (IANS) The United States on Thursday described Russia's decision to expel 60 US diplomats, over the White House's response to the former-spy poisoning incident in Britain, as "regrettable".
"It appears that Russia has chosen a regrettable, unwarranted action to respond to our entirely justified action," said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert during a press conference in Washington, Efe reported. The Russian government on Thursday ordered the expulsion from the country of 60 US diplomatic service officials, whom it declared "persona non grata", and gave them until April 5 to leave Russia. In addition, Moscow also ordered the closure of the American consulate in St. Petersburg in response to Washington's decision to close down the Russian consulate in Seattle. According to Nauert, there was no justification for the Kremlin's response, as the US move was motivated by Russia itself, which is the one who carried out an "irresponsible attack" with a chemical weapon on its former spy, Sergei Skripal. "Russia should not be acting like a victim," Nauert said, adding "the only victims in this situation are the two victims in the hospital in the UK right now." In the assassination attempt, which took place on Mar. 5 in a park in Salisbury, southern England, the former spy Skripal, his daughter and a policeman who was involved in locating the source of the poison were affected. Nauert added that Moscow's response does not surprise Washington and insisted that the US "deserves the right to respond." Nauert stressed that 28 other countries have joined the US in taking measures against the Russian government over its attack on Britain, which has led Russia to further "isolate" itself from the international community. "Russia clearly is not interested in having good relations with other countries," she said. For its part, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the Kremlin's decision marks "a further deterioration" in relations between Russia and the US. She also said that "Russia's response was not unanticipated and the US will deal with it." --IANS ahm/

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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