Berlin, Mar 30 (AFP) Russia will expel four German diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to Berlin ordering four Russian agents to leave Germany over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain, the German foreign minister said today.

“This decision by Moscow is not a surprise,” said Heiko Maas in a statement.

Germany had joined 26 countries, including the United States and 18 EU nations, in expelling Russian envoys to show support for Britain which has blamed Russia for the nerve agent attack on its soil.

“We did not take our decision to sent back Russian diplomats lightly,” Maas said, adding that it was “a necessary and appropriate political signal.” Berlin still remains open to dialogue with Russia, the statement added.

The ouster of the German envoys comes a day after Moscow expelled 60 US diplomats and closed the US consulate in Saint Petersburg.

Russia has denied any involvement in the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.(AFP) AMS 03302022

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.