Russian Federation expels a Norwegian diplomat

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned earlier this week that Russia would retaliate over the mass expulsion of its diplomats by other countries, including many European Union states, which he blamed on "colossal pressure and colossal blackmail" by the United States.

Lavrov promised that Russia would take the same "symmetrical" approach with those countries, promising to expel the same number of diplomats from each of their embassies as they had expelled Russians.

The identity of the expelled Norwegian diplomat was not revealed.

That approach will mean that, among other countries affected, France, Germany and Poland would each have four of their diplomats in Moscow sent home, Ukraine would forfeit 13 diplomats, and Denmark, Albania and Spain would each have two of their embassy staff expelled.

In total, 171 people are expected to leave the country, with two Russian planes laid on, one of which will make a brief stopover in NY to collect 14 families.

The ministry escalated its response Friday, saying it has ordered Britain to reduce the number of its diplomats in Moscow to the level that Russian Federation has in London.

In the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin presided over a meeting of the country's Security Council which discussed the most recent retaliatory steps against Britain and its allies.

"Russia did not unleash any diplomatic wars". "Russia never initiated any exchange of sanctions".

A day earlier, Moscow ordered the expulsion of 60 US diplomats and the closing of the USA consulate in St Petersburg, Russia's second city, in retaliation for the biggest ejection of diplomats since the Cold War.

Bristow had been handed a protest note in connection with the "provocative and unfounded actions of the British side which instigated the unwarranted expulsion of Russian diplomats from a variety of states", the foreign ministry said Friday.

On the streets in Saint Petersburg, passersby said they welcomed the decision to shut down the United States consulate general.

More news: Trump Aide Spoke During Campaign to Associate Tied to Russian Intelligence

London has become a rumored destination of choice to launder money from overseas crime and corruption "the so-called 'dirty money, '" said the Chair of the lower house Treasury Committee, Nicky Morgan, who is leading the new investigation. "It is about time".

"But... I don't remember such (a) bad shape of our relations".

"We are considering requests for consular access in line with our obligations under global and domestic law, including the rights and wishes of Yulia Skripal", a Foreign Office spokeswoman told AFP.

Russia's move, in particular against the United States, "is a minor escalation", said Alexander Gabuev, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center and a former foreign policy correspondent for Kommersant.

Britain has blamed Russia for the poisoning, and has been backed up by dozens of Western countries which have ordered Russian diplomats to leave.

British officials say the Russian order to reduce Britain's diplomatic presence in Moscow is "regrettable" but had been anticipated.

"In the face of the grave incident in Salisbury, it is up to the Russian government to do everything it can to provide clarity and transparency and to answer legitimate questions", Von Fritsch told reporters outside the ministry in Moscow.

Some passers-by near the U.S. Consulate cheered the expulsions.

The move by Moscow was a tit-for-tat response to the similar actions taken by the countries such as the United States.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at news conference Thursday that Moscow will expel the same number of diplomats from each of those countries in retaliation.

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