02:45 GMT04 March 2021
Listen Live
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL

    The Australian authorities have purportedly decided to expel two Russian diplomats in connection with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, local media reported on Tuesday.

    According to 9news broadcaster, Australia will expel two employees working at the Russian embassy in Canberra in solidarity with nearly 20 other nations.

    A total of 16 EU countries, as well as the United States, Canada, Albania, Norway, Ukraine and Macedonia announced on Monday their decisions to expel about 100 Russian diplomats in connection with Moscow's alleged involvement in the nerve agent attack on Skripal and his daughter in the UK city of Salisbury.

    Skripal and his daughter have been in hospital in critical condition since March 4 and are being treated for exposure to what UK experts believe to be the A234 nerve agent. The same experts have claimed that the substance was developed in the Soviet Union.

    Following the Salisbury poisoning incident, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of orchestrating an attack on Skripal, and expelled 23 Russian diplomats as a punitive measure.

    Russia has strongly rejected the accusations and offered to help in the investigation. However, Moscow's request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison Skripal was denied. Moscow expelled UK diplomats in response and ordered the British Council to cease its activities in Russia.

    The West's move to expel its diplomats was met by the Russian Foreign Ministry with regret. Moscow has said it is preparing response measures.


    Trump Urges Other States to Join Expulsion of Russian Diplomats
    Moscow to Respond to Expulsion of Russian Diplomats Reciprocally - Kremlin
    UK's May Welcomes Decision of States to Expel Russian Diplomats - Spokesperson
    Germany Expels 4 Russia Diplomats Over Skripal Case
    Ambassador Slams US Decision to Expel 60 Russian Diplomats, Close Consulate
    tension, diplomacy, expulsion, diplomats, Russian embassy in Canberra, Sergei Skripal, Canberra, Australia, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion