Moscow says it will close US consulate in St Petersburg and expel same number of diplomats from nations that have expelled Russians

Russia is on a retaliation spree. Moscow has said it will expel 60 diplomats and close the US consulate in St Petersburg in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.

This announcement was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He said Russia would expel the same number of diplomats from the nations that have expelled Russian diplomats over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Julia, 33, in Salisbury earlier this month.

Lavrov said that Jon Huntsman, the US ambassador, had been informed of “retaliatory measures” on Thursday.

Lavrov added that the same will go for other nations that expelled Russian diplomats this week.

After the poisoning of Skripal, who was a Russian double agent, and his daughter in England, Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the UK. Moscow retaliated by also expelling 23 British diplomats from Russia. Then America, in support for their closest ally, expelled 60 diplomats and shut down the Russian consulate general in Seattle. Russia has now replied in kind.

Two dozen countries, including the US, many EU nations and NATO, have ordered more than 150 Russian diplomats out this week in a show of solidarity with Britain.

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