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Four Russian diplomats leave Canada

Some European countries decided to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK over the Skripal episode

OTTAWA, April 6. /TASS/. Four Russian diplomats expelled by the Canadian government from the country over the Skripal case, have left Canada, an embassy source told TASS on Thursday.

"As requested by the Canadian side the diplomats declared personae non gratae in Canada have left the country," the source said.

On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a so-called Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident.

Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia. Without presenting any evidence, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats were expelled from Russia, the British Consulate General in the city of St. Petersburg was closed and the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia.

Some European countries, including France, Germany and Poland, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Moldova, along with the US, Canada and Australia, decided to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK over the Skripal episode. Ottawa announced expelling four Russian diplomats from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the capital and Consulate General in Montreal, as well as rejected an application of the Russian government to accredit extra diplomatic staff in the country.