WASHINGTON, March 30. /TASS/. Moscow’s Trade Representative in the United States Alexander Stadnik is among Russian diplomats to be expelled from the country, he confirmed in a telephone conversation with TASS.
Stadnik, who is currently in Russia, said he found out that he had been included in the list of expelled diplomats being in Moscow where he is visiting the meeting of the Economic Development Ministry’s collegium.
On March 26, the United States announced its decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats and close the Russian Consulate General in Seattle. Twenty-four European countries, Canada and Australia also decided to expel a total of 63 Russian diplomats. NATO reduced the number of staff members of the Russian mission from 30 to 20. The EU recalled its ambassador for consultations, and Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia followed suit. The UK earlier 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 allegations and vowed to respond to the unfriendly steps against it.