Moscow to expel same number of diplomats from nations that expelled theirs

Moscow to expel same number of diplomats from nations that expelled theirs

Moscow will expel the same number of diplomats from the nations that have expelled Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain, Russia's foreign minister said.

Sergei Lavrov said US ambassador Jon Huntsman was summoned to the foreign ministry where he was given notice that Russia is responding quid pro quo to the US decision to order 60 Russian diplomats out.

Mr Lavrov said Moscow will also retaliate over the US decision to shut the Russian consulate in Seattle by closing the US consulate in St Petersburg.

He said the same approach will be applied to other nations that expelled Russian diplomats this week.

Two dozen countries, including the US and many EU nations, and Nato have ordered more than 150 Russian diplomats out this week in a show of solidarity with Britain.

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Separately today, the Russian military said it has conducted an exercise that involved anti-submarine aircraft flying missions over the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia's defence ministry said the Tu-142 aircraft took off from an airbase in Russia and flew to the south-eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea under the escort of the Su-30 fighter jets.

It said the crews practised searching for enemy submarines.

The ministry said the aircraft co-operated with Russian navy ships deployed to the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia has conducted an air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government since September 2015, turning the tide of the conflict in its favour.

It has also kept a rotating group of warships near Syria's shores to support the air campaign.

The Russian military said it has conducted an exercise that involved anti-submarine aircraft flying missions over the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia's defence ministry said the Tu-142 aircraft took off from an air base in Russia and flew to the south-eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea under the escort of the Su-30 fighter jets.

It said the crews practised searching for enemy submarines.

The ministry said the aircraft co-operated with Russian navy ships deployed to the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia has conducted an air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government since September 2015, turning the tide of the conflict in its favour.

It has also kept a rotating group of warships near Syria's shores to support the air campaign.

The Russian military said it has conducted an exercise that involved anti-submarine aircraft flying missions over the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia's defence ministry said the Tu-142 aircraft took off from an air base in Russia and flew to the south-eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea under the escort of the Su-30 fighter jets.

It said the crews practised searching for enemy submarines.

The ministry said the aircraft co-operated with Russian navy ships deployed to the eastern Mediterranean.

Russia has conducted an air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government since September 2015, turning the tide of the conflict in its favour.

It has also kept a rotating group of warships near Syria's shores to support the air campaign.

- AP

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