CHISINAU, March 28. /TASS/. The Moldovan government’s decision to expel three Russian diplomats over the incident in Salisbury is an unfriendly move, the Russian Embassy in Moldova said on Wednesday.
"Given the absurd accusations against these persons, we view this as an unjustified and unfriendly step. Blindly following the so-called European solidarity, Chisinau acts to the detriment of common sense and its own interests, raising doubts about the sincerity of recent statements on the intention to normalize Russian-Moldovan ties," the statement said.
Earlier, the Embassy’s Spokesman Anatoly Loshakov confirmed to TASS that it had received a note from Moldova’s Foreign Ministry ordering to expel three Russian diplomats within seven days.
Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip explained that the decision on the expulsion of Russian diplomats was a gesture of solidarity with the EU countries, noting Chisinau’s wish to improve relations with Russia. Moldovan President Igor Dodon was angered by the move, calling it another "anti-Russian provocation" by the cabinet of ministers.
On March 26, the United States announced its decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats and close the Russian Consulate General in Seattle. Twenty-three European countries, Canada and Australia also decided to expel a total of 61 Russian diplomats. NATO reduced the number of staff members of the Russian mission from 30 to 20. Bulgaria and Luxembourg will recall their ambassadors to Russia for consultations. The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and Moscow announced a tit-for-tat move.
This concerted action came amid the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, the UK, on March 4. London immediately accused Russia of being involved, but failed to provide any evidence. Moscow has rejected the allegations and vowed to respond to the unfriendly steps against it.