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Russia retaliates: Holds Twitter poll on what US consulate to expel after US kicks out 60 Russian diplomats

Anatoly Antonov speaking after the U.S. announced it was expelling 60 Russian diplomats. (Screen Shot/Twitter)
March 26, 2018
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Russia will retaliate after the U.S. on Monday expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington, after Russia is accused of using a nerve agent to poison an ex-spy and his daughter in the U.K.

And, the Russian Embassy in the U.S. on Twitter put up a poll asking users what U.S. consulate it thinks Russian should close in response to the United States’ actions on Monday.

Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., said Monday that the decision was “counterproductive,” a “very bad step,” and that the U.S. “will understand what kind of grave mistake they did,” adding that he hopes relations will be restored.

“I consider [the] actions counterproductive,” Antonov said in a video posted to the Russian Embassy’s Twitter account. “I said that the United States did very bad step, undercutting a little what we still have in Russian-American relations. These decisions are going against to the telephone conversation between our two presidents.”

“It’s up to [the] United States to decide what kind of relations they want to have with the Russian federation,” he added.

The Russian Embassy in the U.S. is located in Washington, D.C.

Forty-eight diplomats are being told to leave the Russian embassy and 12 must leave the United Nations. The diplomats and their families have been given one week to leave the country.

“With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences. The United States stands ready to cooperate to build a better relationship with Russia, but this can only happen with a change in the Russian government’s behavior,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

And, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said: “Today, the United States began the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission to the United Nations who have abused their privilege of residence in the United States. After a review, we have determined that the 12 intelligence operatives engaged in espionage activities that are adverse to‎ our national security.”

There are reportedly about 100 Russian intelligence officers in the U.S., which makes this expulsion especially significant.

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Theresa May retaliated against Russia and announced the country is kicking out 23 Russian diplomats following the nerve agent poison attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter.

Russia is suspected of the attempted assassination of a former spy and his daughter, after they were both found poisoned in England earlier this month.

Russia said the accusations were “nonsense,” and it a few weeks ago ignored a midnight deadline to explain how the nerve agent was used in the attack.

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