Prime Minister Theresa May has scored a diplomatic win as the world witnesses the biggest ever expulsion of Russian spies, with around 100 Russian Diplomats expelled from more than 20 nations.
The move comes after a Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned on 4 March in Salisbury. Investigators believe a military-grade nerve agent was used that is only available in Russia. The Prime Minister issued a scathing attack on the Kremlin, expelling 23 diplomats from the Russian Embassy and saying that no Minister or Member of the Royal Family will attend the World Cup in Russia later this year.
She was backed by EU leaders agreed with the UK last week that it was highly likely Russia was behind the nerve-agent poisoning. Since then, various countries announced they were making the same move in solidarity on Monday.
The countries that have fallen behind the UK include the US, the Ukraine, Germany and Australia, just to name a few. The US in particular has acted decisively with g 60 Russian diplomats expelled from American soil and ordering the closure of the Russian Embassy in Seattle.
The UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in an interview with the BBC has praised”extraordinary international response” by the UK’s allies.
Ireland has become the latest country to announce it’s stance, expelling one Russian diplomat this afternoon. A statement by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade delivered today has said the attack in Salisbury was an “affront to the international rules-based system on which we all depend for our security and wellbeing.”
Australia also joined forces with the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop saying the attempted suicide as “dangerous” and “reckless” by the Russian Government. Mr Turnbull said that “this decision reflects the shocking nature of the attack – the first offensive use of chemical weapons in Europe since World War II, involving a highly lethal substance in a populated area, endangering countless other members of the community.”
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) 27 March 2018
NATO is also expected to amplify its measures against Russia in a statement this afternoon.
This display of transatlantic and alliance solidarity has been labelled by Russia as “expulsion blackmail” but indicates how strong these alliances are and has given Mrs May the chance to prove her strength and leadership.