Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/22 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/20 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/22 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/20 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 04/22 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/22 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 04/20 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/22 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 04/22 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 04/21 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Europe

Russia expels four French diplomats in escalating spy row

media The Russian foreign ministry said had summoned the heads of missions from 23 countries to tell them that some of their diplomats had to leave. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Russia has expelled four French diplomats in retaliation for France’s decision to expel the same number of Russian envoys over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain, the French foreign ministry said.

“The decision taken by Russia to expel four members of the French embassy in Russia did not surprise us. We can only regret the move,” the ministry said in statement, but added that “up to now, Russia has refused to offer the expected explanations concerning the attack in Salisbury, England, (on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia),” it added.

Russia has now expelled diplomats from 23 countries, making it the biggest wave of tit-for-tat expulsions in recent memory.

The Russian foreign ministry said it had summoned the heads of missions from 23 countries to tell them that some of their diplomats had to leave.

Germany, Canada and Poland each said that Russia was expelling four of their diplomats while other countries including Ukraine, the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania and Norway were also told to pull their envoys.

The moves came in retaliation for the coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats by Britain and its allies over a nerve agent attack against former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.

“This is certainly not a surprise," Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said through a spokeswoman, referring to Moscow's expulsion of two of the country’s diplomats.

Britain has said it is “highly likely” that Russia was responsible for the Skripal attack using the Novichok nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, but Russia has angrily denied any involvement.

After the poisoning, Britain kicked off the global response by announcing it would expel 23 Russian diplomats, suspend high-level diplomatic contact with Moscow and not send any members of its royal family to the 2018 football World Cup hosted by Russia.

Russia responded by closing a British consulate in Saint Petersburg and the British Council educational and cultural organisation.

In further measures against the UK, the Russian foreign ministry gave Britain a month to cut the number of diplomatic staff in Russia to the same number Russia has in Britain.

On Thursday, Moscow had announced that it would expel 60 US diplomats and close the US consulate in Saint Petersburg after the expulsion of its own diplomats and the closure of one of its US consulates.

In all, more than 150 Russian diplomats have been ordered out of the US, EU members, NATO countries and other nations which are accusing Russia of being involved in the Skripal poisoning.

- with AFP

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.