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International

EU recalls ambassador from Russia as leaders back May over Salisbury

12:30, Friday, 23 March, 2018
EU recalls ambassador from Russia as leaders back May over Salisbury

The European Union has recalled its ambassador from Moscow after leaders on the continent threw their weight behind Theresa May’s stance over the Salisbury attack. Several EU member states were poised to announce expulsions of diplomats, in a bid to dismantle Vladimir Putin’s spy network.

Following a summit in Brussels to discuss the response to the Salisbury nerve agent attack, EU leaders gave their full-throated backing to the prime minister by adopting a statement declaring it was “highly likely Russia is responsible” for poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

In a significant point for May, the statement goes further than a declaration by foreign ministers earlier this week, which avoided pinning the blame on Russia. British diplomats believe that a strong message of solidarity with the UK, from Russia’s closest European neighbours, will hit home with President Putin.

France, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are understood to be considering expelling Russian diplomats, as requested by the UK government, in a coordinated strike against Moscow.

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