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Kremlin vows tit-for-tat measures over expulsion of Russian diplomats will follow

The Foreign Ministry would eventually submit proposed retaliatory measures to Vladimir Putin for consideration

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has reported that the Kremlin regrets some countries’ decision to eject Russian diplomats. Russia will respond to it based on the principle of reciprocity, he said.

"We deeply regret the taken decisions. The so-called Skripal case is said to be the reason. We already stated and reconfirm that Russia has never had any relation to this case. We will be guided by the principle of reciprocity as before," Peskov told reporters.

Russia will analyze the situation following decisions by the United States, a number of EU members and some other countries to expel Russian diplomats, Peskov told the media, adding that the Foreign Ministry would eventually submit proposed retaliatory measures to Vladimir Putin for consideration: 

"We are to analyze the situation following the declared decisions by a number of countries to expel our diplomats. The main analysis will be done by our Foreign Ministry. After that the president will see proposals for taking retaliatory steps. A final decision will be made by the head of state," Peskov stressed. 

He pointed out that the Kremlin regretted very much the decisions made abroad over the Salisbury incident, in which former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, if Britain’s version of the affair is to be believed, were poisoned under controversial circumstances.

"We’ve said more than once and we say once again: Russia has had nothing to do with this affair whatsoever. Naturally, as before, we will proceed from the principle of reciprocity," Peskov said.

Asked for a comment about the collective and synchronized decisions by a group of countries, Peskov said that "such things did happen in the history of international relations" before.

"Take various decisions made in relation to different international organizations and regional organizations. Such incidents did take place in the past. It is not the collective nature of such steps that really matters but the fact they are wrong. We are certain they are wrong, because from our point of view the Skripal affair has nothing to rely on," he concluded.

Peskov refrained from comment if Washington’s decision to expel Russian diplomats would affect the outlook for a Russian-US summit.

"For now please wait for the analysis to be carried out," Peskov said.