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Russia summons German ambassador amid dispute over ex-spy in Britain

Europe
30.03.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Moscow (dpa) - Russia‘s Foreign Ministry summoned German Ambassador Ruediger von Fritsch on Friday, as Russia faces off with the West in a dispute over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the southern English city of Salisbury.

"Germany‘s interest in having a good relationship with Russia remains. We remain open to dialogue," Von Fritsch told reporters outside the ministry in Moscow after the meeting.

"In the face of the grave incident in Salisbury, it is up to the Russian government to do everything it can to provide clarity and transparency and to answer legitimate questions," the ambassador said.

The Foreign Ministry the previous day summoned the US ambassador, Jon Huntsman, to inform him that Russia was expelling 60 US diplomats and closing the US consulate in St Petersburg in a tit-for-tat measure.

The US announced earlier this week that it was expelling the same number of Russian diplomats and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle, in an expression of solidarity with Britain.

Britain has accused the Russian state of perpetrating a chemical weapon attack on the former spy turned double agent, Sergei Skripal. Russia has adamantly denied the allegation.

Britain this month expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the scandal, and Russia expelled the same number of British diplomats.

More than 20 other Western countries, including Germany, have expelled Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain. Germany expelled four.

 

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