WASHINGTON- On Monday the Trump administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats and ordered Russia’s consulate in Seattle to close, as the United States and European nations jointly punish Moscow for its alleged role in poisoning an ex-spy in Britain.
A senior Trump officials said all 60 Russians were spies working in the US under diplomatic cover, including a dozen at Russia’s mission to the United Nations.
The officials added the administration was taking the action to send out a strong message to Russia’s leaders that there is an “unacceptably high” number of Russian intelligence operatives in the US.
The expelled Russians have a week to leave the US, they have been authorised not to release their names and have requested anonymity the officials said.
The US suspect that the Seattle consulate is a counter-intelligence concern because of its close proximity to a US Navy base.
This move is the most decisive action the Trump administration has taken against Russia, a push back from what some thought was a cosy relationship with Russia’s President Vladmir Putin .
Only a week ago Trump congratulated Putin on his re-election victory during a phone call, but did not rise any issue of the spy case, as his critics voiced that the White House was too soft on the Kremlin.
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