Oh, I see …


Holding Russia Accountable for Its Destabilizing Behavior Share

… the United States will expel 48 Russian officials serving at Russia’s bilateral mission to the United States. We will also require the Russian government to close its Consulate General in Seattle by April 2, 2018. We take these actions to demonstrate our unbreakable solidarity with the United Kingdom, and to impose serious consequences on Russia for its continued violations of international norms. ‎

Separately, we have begun the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission to the United Nations who have abused their privilege of residence in the United States.

More below the fold …

Flash: Russia can replace expelled diplomats | France24 – AFP |

Russia is free to apply to accredit more diplomats to replace the alleged spies that have been expelled from the United States, a State Department official said.

In all, 48 alleged Russian operatives working under diplomatic cover for its US mission were on the list — along with 12 attached to the Russian mission to the United Nations in New York.

Russia’s consulate in Seattle will also be closed, but the total size of its diplomatic footprint in the United States might not shrink for long, because the expelled staff could be replaced.

“The United States has expelled 48 Russian intelligence officers, but it is not requiring the Russian bilateral mission to reduce its total number of personnel,” a State Department official told AFP.  

Russia’s proposals regarding cooperation in investigating the Skripal case that remained without response

Russia has repeatedly addressed the British authorities through official channels with a proposal to establish cooperation in investigating the alleged poisoning of Russian citizens, as well as with requests to provide information on their condition and, of course, the circumstances of the incident. The corresponding notes were sent via the Russian Embassy in London on March 6, 13, 14 and 22.

Unfortunately, in response to Russia’s legitimate demands and constructive proposals seeking to establish cooperation, Britain has remained silent or is simply responding incompetently. The issue is not about factual or even spelling mistakes. It is as if children wrote them. It’s about incomprehensibly scribbled notes that are difficult to read or figure out what they are specifically about. The note to Ambassador of Russia to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko, which was supposed to contain a response about the condition of the Skripal family, contains information about the health of the Ambassador himself. To reiterate, this is not about factual error, but either a deliberate desire to introduce a note of absurdity in this situation or the total incompetence of the British authorities.

We have witnessed Russian representatives being denied access to injured Russian citizens. Thus, the United Kingdom, openly and without scruples, is breaking international legal provisions, in particular, the Consular Convention between the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of 1968.

UK Court Allows Blood Samples to be Taken from Skripals for OPCW

BTW on the situation on democratization of Ukraine after charlatan Saakashvili was evicted from Ukraine, losing citizenship and loss of job as Governor of Odessa … what a farce all-around!

The Guardian view on Brexit and Russia: a fatal flaw | The Guardian – Editorial |
Nicola Jennings on one year until Brexit – cartoon

As novichok unites Europe, Brexit seems more absurd

The key point is that no European government has expressed any doubt about Britain’s assessment that Russia was responsible. As such, this was nothing like the 2003 debate over the presence, or not, of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That involved significant dissent: France and Germany never took the bait.

So how was European unity achieved on novichok and Russia? In London, several politicians and commentators applauded the government for its capacity to rally European support despite the looming Brexit – as if the much decried diminishment of Britain’s influence had suddenly been proved wrong. But sources in Brussels and other European capitals offer a different take on events.

Russian stereotypes hurt ordinary people – and play into Putin’s hands | The Guardian – Opinion |

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