America, Canada, Australia and Ukraine joined 20 European states including France, Germany and Spain after the EU declared the Kremlin was behind the sickening assassination attempt on ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia. "We'll respond, have no doubt". Moscow has promised retaliation for the diplomatic expulsions. Moscow, though, has repeatedly denied involvement.
Skripal was granted refuge in the United Kingdom following a 2010 spy exchange between the US and Russian Federation. Stoltenberg's statement followed the earlierdismissal of more than 140 Russian diplomats from 24 different countries.
They were found on March 4 unconscious on a public bench in the city and a British court says they may have suffered permanent brain damage in the attack.
The list includes 22 European countries including Britain itself which led the way by expelling 23 diplomats. "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.
On Monday, European Council President Donald Tusk announced in Varna, Bulgaria, that 14 European Union (EU) member states had made a decision to expel Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain.
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"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".
"The common thread is Putin's willingness to defy the essential rules on which the safety of every country depends", he said.
Johnson also accused Russian Federation of seeking to avoid pressure by putting out a variety of explanations for what Western officials say was the first offensive use of a chemical weapon in Europe since World War II. "I believe yesterday was a moment when the cynicism of the propaganda machine was exposed for all to see", he said.
"I have today withdrawn the accreditation of seven staff of the Russian mission to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation". The British side claims that the Russian state is involved in the case, as nerve agent A234 was allegedly developed in the Soviet Union.
It is also closing the Russian consulate in Seattle.
Ryabkov said the US move "will be met with a tough response" but he did not elaborate.