Washington, Mar 30 (PTI) Russia’s decision to expel 60 American diplomats and order closer of the US Consulate in St Petersburg marks a further deterioration in bilateral ties, the White House said today.

“Russia’s action today to expel American diplomats marks a further deterioration in the US-Russia relationship,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, hours after Russia in a retaliatory action asked 60 American diplomats to leave the country within seven days and shut down the St Petersburg Consulate within 48 hours.

“The expulsion of undeclared Russian intelligence officers by the United States and more than two dozen partner nations and NATO allies earlier this week was an appropriate response to the Russian attack on the soil of the United Kingdom,” Sanders said.

The Trump administration had earlier ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats and shutter the country’s consulate general in Seattle.

She said the Russian response was “not unanticipated”, and the US will “deal” with it.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.