Nato expels Russian diplomats

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

Nato is expelling seven Russian diplomats in response to a nerve agent attack in the UK.

The international security organisation said the move would send a message to Russia that there are “costs and consequences” for its behaviour.

Twenty-five countries have expelled Russian envoys in the last two days, in solidarity with the UK.

They all believe Russia was behind the poisoning of two people in Salisbury.

Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned on March 4, in Salisbury, southern England and investigators believe a military-grade nerve agent was used.

Russian has denied involvement.

Speaking in Brussels, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said he would also deny pending accreditation for three Russian staff and would reduce the size of Russia’s mission from 30 to 20.

Russia accused the US of pressuring other countries to join the mass expulsion of its diplomats.

Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of “colossal blackmail” and said there were “few independent countries” left in modern Europe.

Mr Skripal and his daughter remain stable but critical in hospital.

BBC/Sammie