LONDON – The Latest on the dispute over the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. (all times local):
A top Russian diplomat says Moscow is preparing a "tough response" to Tuesday's announcement by the United States that it is expelling 60 Russian diplomats.
The United States, European Union nations and some other countries announced Tuesday they would expel a total of more than 130 Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack on a former Russian intelligence officer and his daughter in Britain.
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia remain in critical condition in the hospital in the English city of Salisbury after being exposed to what British authorities say was a Soviet-made military-grade nerve agent on March 4.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday that Russia was disappointed by the U.S. announcement that it would expel 60 Russian diplomats and shut down a Russian consulate in Seattle.
Ryabkov said the U.S. move "will be met with a tough response" but he did not elaborate.
Australia has become the latest country to announce that it is expelling Russian diplomats in response to the recent nerve agent attack on a former Russian military intelligence officer and his daughter in Britain.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull slammed "reckless and deliberate" conduct by Russia that harms global security and violates rules against the use of chemical weapons. He said in a statement Tuesday that the two diplomats targeted are undeclared intelligence officers and have been given seven days to leave Australia.
Western nations have expelled more than 130 diplomats in recent days.
The Russian Embassy in Canberra said the decision was regrettable and jeopardized the bilateral relationship.
"It is astonishing how easily the allies of Great Britain follow it blindly contrary to the norms of civilized bilateral dialogue and international relations, and against ... common sense."