US Considering Options to Take Steps against Russia over Skripal Case: State Department
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Washington is considering a range of options to take steps against Russia following the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury, US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert told TASS.
"The United States is considering a range of options to respond to Russia’s outrageous actions in the UK, both to demonstrate our solidarity with our ally and to hold Russia accountable for its clear breach of international norms and agreements," she said.
"The State Department doesn’t have any actions to announce today, but when we do take action we will be sure to inform you," Nauert said, commenting on a CNN report about the possible expulsion of Russian diplomats.
On March 21, a United States National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson confirmed to TASS that Washington was contemplating various options to impose additional sanctions on Moscow over the Skripal case.
On Friday, CNN said citing "a source with knowledge of the situation" that "President Donald Trump is expected to receive a recommendation from his National Security Council on Friday that he expel a yet-to-be-determined number of Russian diplomats from the US in response to the poisonings of a former spy and his daughter on UK soil." "The decision to send that recommendation to the President comes after a high-level meeting at the White House on Wednesday during which the NSC drew up a range of options to take action against Russia, according to multiple State Department officials and a source familiar with the discussion."
On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and exchanged for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of a nerve agent in of Salisbury.
London expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats were expelled, the British consulate general in the city of St. Petersburg was closed and the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia. At the same time, Moscow pointed out that further measures could be taken "should there be any more hostile actions against Russia."