Moscow gives London a month to reduce its diplomats in Russia

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The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador to Moscow, Laurie Bristow, to hand him a note of protest against British practices that ended with the expulsion of London and its sympathizers Russian diplomats.

The Russian foreign ministry described Britain's steps as «provocative and unjustified» and gave Britain one month to reduce the number of diplomats at the British embassy and consulates in Russia, to equal the number of Russian diplomats in Britain.

Britain has urged its allies to take action against Russia over the case of former Russian intelligence officer and British agent Sergey Scrippal, whom Britain accuses, Russian authorities of poisoning.

More than 25 countries have expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain.

Russia has said it will reciprocate against any country that takes action against it.

The Russian foreign ministry on Friday summoned ambassadors from a number of Western countries to hand over protest memorandum and to inform them of the steps taken by Moscow in response to the actions of their countries.

Russia sought to achieve equality in the number of diplomats during disputes with the United States last summer, in response to the United States tightening its sanctions against Russia and confiscating Russian diplomatic property and closing the Russian consulate in San Francisco.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it had summoned the ambassadors of the countries that were in solidarity with Britain and had expelled Russian diplomats from its territory to inform them of the positive measures adopted by Russia towards their countries.

The ministry said it would hand over foreign ambassadors a note of protest over the unfriendly steps their countries have taken toward Russia.

Several EU member states, as well as the United States, Canada, Australia and Ukraine, have decided to expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with London over the poisoning of former British client Sergey Scrippal and his daughter Yulia in Britain recently.

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