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Russia blames Washington pressure for western expulsions of Russian diplomats

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Russia blames Washington pressure for western expulsions of Russian diplomats

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Moscow will respond appropriately to the U.S. expulsion of Russian diplomats and closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The most likely reciprocal move by Russia would be another tit-for-tat round of expulsions of western diplomats, as happened from time to time during the Cold War.

The United States said on Monday it would expel 60 Russian diplomats, joining governments across Europe in punishing the Kremlin for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that they have blamed on Moscow.

The ministry said that not a single country has provided any evidence that Russia was behind the poisoning of the former Russian spy and his daughter, RIA reported.

And Russia's foreign minister blamed the United States for the expulsions.

"They are asking for one, then two diplomats, while whispering apologies into our ears, to leave this or that country," Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, said.

"We know that this is the result of colossal pressure, colossal blackmail which is now unfortunately the main tool of Washington on the international arena."