Poland and the three Baltic states seem poised to expel Russian diplomats over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain earlier this month, based on Russian news reports and diplomatic sources on Monday.
Russia’s ambassadors in Poland as well as Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have been summoned to those countries’ foreign ministries, said the reports.
No reason was given for the summoning, but speculation runs high the ambassadors will be told that Russian diplomats will be expelled over the poisoning case.
Asked on Monday about a report that the U.S. would also expel Russian diplomats, presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia will act according to the principle of reciprocity. Russia had already expelled 23 British diplomats after the U.K. expelled the same number over the poisoning.
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were admitted to a hospital on March 4 after being found unconscious in the southern English city of Salisbury.
Skripal was granted refuge in the UK following a 2010 spy exchange between the U.S. and Russia. Before the exchange, he was serving 13 years in prison for leaking information to British intelligence.
On March 16, the Investigative Committee of Russia launched its own probe into the Skripal case.
Last week, following an EU summit in Brussels, the U.K., Germany, and France reaffirmed that the Russian state was responsible for the nerve agent poisoning of Skripal and his daughter.
A decision to recall the EU ambassador from Russia for consultations was also announced.
Though bordering Russia, especially since joining NATO in 2004, the Baltic countries have moved more into the Western orbit, to Russia's displeasure.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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