Spy poisoning row: Expelled US diplomats leave Russia

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Moscow, April 5 (IANS) The US diplomats expelled by Russia over the poisoning of a former spy on British soil, left the American Embassy in the Russian capital on Thursday to make their way to the airport, TASS news agency reported.

Russia last week ordered the expulsion of 60 US diplomats and the closure of the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg in a tit-for-tat move over Washington’s expulsion of the same number of Russian diplomats and closure of Russia’s consulate in Seattle.

Britain had blamed Moscow for the nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4. The US joined over 20 nations, including major European Union economies and most NATO states, in backing the UK by together expelling more than 100 Russian diplomats.

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According to TASS, three coaches believed to be carrying departing diplomats were seen leaving the US Embassy in central Moscow in the morning for the airport.

Russia expelled 58 diplomats from the US Embassy in Moscow and two employees of the US Consulate General in the city of Yekaterinburg.

–IANS

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