17:46 GMT21 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a phone call discussed the decisions made by both countries to expel Russian intelligence officers, the White House said in a press release.

    "Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to affirm the solidarity of both countries with the United Kingdom and discuss the joint expulsions of Russian intelligence officers in response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon on the United Kingdom’s soil," the release said on Monday. "This behavior from Russia is the latest in its ongoing pattern of destabilizing activities around the world."

    Earlier in the day, the US government announced that it was expelling a total of 60 Russian diplomats in connection with Moscow’s alleged role in the poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK’s Salisbury. Russia has strongly rejected the accusations and offered to help in the Skripal probe. However, Moscow's request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison Skripal was rejected.

    Russian Envoy to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told reporters earlier on Monday the United States abused its privileges as UN host nation by expelling 12 members of the Russian permanent mission based in New York.

    In addition to the United States and Canada, a total of 16 European Union countries, as well as Norway, Albania, and Ukraine, announced their decisions to expel Russian diplomats in connection with the incident in Salisbury. Most expulsions involved less than five individuals.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Russia regrets the decision by several countries to expel Russian diplomats. He added the Russian Foreign Ministry and other agencies will analyze the situation and present Putin with plans on the response.

    Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department of nonproliferation said the poisoning of Skripal might have been orchestrated by the United States, London's close ally and an owner of a large chemical weapons arsenal.


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