Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced that Russia will commence to close down the US Consulate in Saint Petersburg and expel 60 US diplomats form the country in retaliation for the US shutting down Russia’s Consulate in Seattle and expelling 60 Russian diplomats from the US.
This comes as continued fall-out from the mysterious poisoning of the former UK spy of Russian origin Sergey Skripal and his daughter. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has yet to conclude its investigation, yet already the issue has caused a geopolitical divide between the US and its European allies who have already found the Russian state guilty on one side, and the rest of the world whose opinion on Russia has not changed due to the events in England on the other. Contrasted with the generally hysterical reactions in much of Europe and the US, responses have been non-existent in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, with diplomatic and business relations with Russia continuing without interruption.
While Russia’s close partner China has called for a calm and rational approach, the US ally Japan and strained/former US ally Turkey have publicly said that they have no disputes with Russia and seek to wait while chemical weapons investigators carry out an independent investigation in southern England. Likewise traditional Middle Eastern allies of the US including Saudi Arabia and “Israel” continue to have normal diplomatic relations with Russia in spite of their general geopolitical alignment.
On the same day that Russia announced the expulsions of US diplomats, sources in the UK confirmed that Sergey Skripal’s daughter Yulia is no longer in critical condition. This means that early reports of the automatically deadly poison that both Skripals were allegedly exposed too may in fact have been a strong but far less potent substance than the one initially alleged to have been present.
— Press TV (@PressTV) March 29, 2018