UK Diplomats Leave Moscow as EU Nations Mull Measures against Russian Federation


Several European Union countries said Friday they may follow Britain in expelling Russian diplomats, as EU Council chief Donald Tusk predicted member states would introduce more measures against Moscow for the poisoning of an ex-spy in England. So we would have to do an assessment just like they did before that.

"Certainly we are considering it", Babis said when asked about the chance of expelling Russian diplomats, according to a transcript of the comments to reporters made after late-night meetings in Brussels.

He said the Irish Government was within its rights to investigate Russian embassy staff, but warned it to use common sense.

The solid show of support from the European Union, at a time when Britain is grappling with its departure from the bloc, will boost Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been asking other nations to match her decision to expel Russians over the attack.

Leo Varadkar said a decision on whether to expel any Russian Personnel would be taken "in the early part of next week".

On March 21, the foreign, defense and trade ministries held a conference for foreign ambassadors in Moscow, claiming Russia did not produce the toxic agent named by the United Kingdom government and that since its formula had been published by the Russian whistleblower Vil Mirzayanov, anyone could make it, including Western nations.

According to a source with knowledge of the discussions, it is believed that the U.S. was waiting to see what members of the European Council would do - and on Friday 10 European countries announced they would follow the United Kingdom's lead by also expelling Russian diplomats.

Skripal and daughter Yulia were found poisoned in the southwest English city Salisbury with what Britain has determined was a military grade nerve agent.

Denmark is considering taking steps against Russian Federation in response to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury in Britain, in addition to measures taken by the European Union, Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said Friday.

On Friday afternoon British diplomats left the Moscow mission in several minibuses as remaining diplomatic staff sent them off with a round of applause, Russian television showed.

But Mr Corbyn questioned statements by some members of government, adding: "I'm not sure the language used by some of our ministers is particularly helpful or sensible".

The Prime Minister arrived in Brussels yesterday for a summit of the European Council where her EU counterparts will decide whether to agree the terms for the Brexit transition period. "We will never have a real chance to respond adequately because we are completely different to the perpetrators of this attack", he said.

Outspoken Putin opponent Gennady Gudkov, a former KGB counter-intelligence officer, says he believes Russian intelligence has carried out overseas assassinations in recent years, but he says he "can't find rational explanations for" the attack on Skripal. "They recognised and agreed with the UK Government's assessment".

Russia's ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, said his country "can't take British words for granted".

A total of 21 people received medical attention after the incident, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who was discharged from the hospital Thursday, according to a statement from Wiltshire Police.