North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expels seven Russian staff in solidarity with United Kingdom over Salisbury attack

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Boris Johnson on widespread expulsions of Russian diplomats

Asked on Monday about a report that the USA would also expel Russian diplomats, presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia will act according to the principle of reciprocity.

"This is the result of colossal pressure, colossal blackmail which is the main instrument of Washington on the worldwide arena", Lavrov said during a visit to Uzbekistan.

The Prime Minister added: "It is also important to note that our partners are not only taking these measures out of solidarity with the United Kingdom, but also because they recognise the threat that these Russian networks pose to the security of their own countries and the pattern of Russian aggression which has affected us all".

"This will send a clear message to Russian Federation that there are costs and consequences for their unacceptable pattern of behavior".

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Australia also joined the coordinated movement to expel Russian diplomats by asking two to leave the country within seven days.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement.

"We'll respond, have no doubt!"

A day after the Trump administration closed a Russian consulate and ordered 60 Moscow diplomats out of the United States, Kremlin officials said Tuesday they won't tolerate what they say boils down to political "blackmail".

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In Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters that Russian Federation "has the potential to be a partner" with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members but had "chosen to seek a different relationship".

Governments of 24 countries around the world have expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the Skripals, an unprecedented global response to the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War II.

The countries that are to expel Russian diplomats along with the numbers are as follows: France (4), Germany (4), Poland (4), Czech Republic (3), Lithuania (3), Denmark (2), Italy (2), the Netherlands (2), Spain (2), Croatia (1), Romania (1), Estonia (1), Finland (1), Hungary (1), Latvia (1), Ireland (1) and Sweden (1). "No one wants to put up with such loutish behavior and we won't", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the sidelines of a conference in Uzbekistan.

"Today's actions by our allies clearly demonstrate that we all stand shoulder to shoulder in sending the strongest signal to the Kremlin that Russian Federation can not continue to flout worldwide law and threaten our security".

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But Western officials made it clear in announcing the expulsions that they share Britain's assessment that only the Kremlin could have been responsible. The British side claims that the Russian state is involved in the case, as nerve agent A234 was allegedly developed in the Soviet Union.

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