U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the expulsion of at least 60 Russians from the United States and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle over a nerve agent attack earlier this month in Britain, senior U.S. officials said.
The order includes 12 Russian intelligence officers from Russia's mission to the United Nations headquarters in New York and reflects concerns that Russian intelligence activities have been increasingly aggressive, senior U.S. administration officials told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Simultaneously with the U.S. announcement, 14 EU member states decided to expel Russian diplomats, European Council president Donald Tusk told reporters Monday.
"Additional measures, including further sanctions within the common EU framework, cannot be excluded in the coming days and weeks," he said.
Germany announced it was expelling four Russian diplomats as an act of solidarity with Britain, which has accused Moscow of carrying out the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal.
"After the poisoning attack in Salisbury, Russia is still not cooperating with the investigation," the German foreign ministry said.
Other countries that expelled Russian diplomats on Monday include France, Poland, Denmark, Lithuania, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine.
The state-run RIA news agency cited a Russian foreign ministry source as saying: “The response will be symmetrical. We will work on it in the coming days and will respond to every country in turn.”
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.