Russia will expel 23 British diplomats and close the British Consulate in St. Petersburg as part of its response to London’s decision to expel Russian diplomats in an escalating row over the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter in Britain earlier this month.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday that “23 diplomatic personnel from the British Embassy in Moscow have been declared persona non grata” and have one week to leave. The closure of the consulate in St. Petersburg was not given a firm deadline, with the Foreign Ministry saying only that consulate employees will be given sufficient time to finish their work.
The move comes a day before Russia’s presidential elections, which President Vladimir Putin is expected to win.
Special To The Washington Post · Matthew Bodner