Spy attack: We can't find Russian spies to expel - New Zealand

Vladimir Putin could use artificial intelligence to carry out assassinations

Vladimir Putin could use artificial intelligence to carry out assassinations

However, the White House said later it would like to have a "cooperative relationship" with Russian Federation. The diplomats being expelled from the USA include 48 embassy staff and 12 members of Russia's Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Lavrov also speculated that the United States might have coerced some of the European countries into expelling Russian diplomats.

The American moves illustrated an increased willingness by Trump's administration to push back on the Kremlin, even as the president himself steadfastly avoids challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin personally or directly.

Trump, who before he took office in January previous year promised warmer ties with Putin, last week congratulated the Russian leader on his re-election, drawing criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.

In a choreographed show of trans-Atlantic unity, the USA and European allies carefully timed their announcements for maximum effect.

Western nations have expelled more than 130 diplomats in recent days.

A total of 14 European Union member states, including France, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, plus Ukraine announced the expulsion of the envoys.

"Moldova does not have allied commitments to the United Kingdom and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members in order to take such steps using the principle of bloc solidarity", Dodon wrote in a Facebook post.

The list included nations in Russia's backyard that have perhaps the most at stake.

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At least 45 Russian diplomats have been expelled across Europe so far. They were involved in activities outside their official capacity and an abuse of their privileges of residence, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said.

Moscow threatened retaliation of the tit-for-tat variety, suggesting it would kick out an equal number of foreign diplomats.

Russian Federation is expected to retaliate and is reportedly claiming that ties with the USA are in crisis.

"This is an attempt on the lives of Russian citizens on the territory of Great Britain", Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

"The unfriendly step of this group of countries will not pass without a trace, we will react to it", the statement said.

Yet it was unclear whether the expulsions, which may be inconvenient for Moscow but don't take aim at its economy, would be enough to alter Putin's behavior.

"Russia can not break global rules with impunity", he added.

The overwhelming response comes after the United Kingdom determined that Moscow was behind a nerve agent attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia earlier this month in Salisbury, England.

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Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were found slumped over, unconscious on a park bench in the southern English town of Salisbury.

Yesterday's announcement that Western powers will act against Vladimir Putin was a significant diplomatic victory for PM Theresa May and her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, however. In the Czech Republic, where Russian officials have claimed the poison may have originated, Prime Minister Andrej Babis dismissed that allegation as "an utter lie".

"Seattle is an important tech center" of interest to Russian intelligence, said the official, pointing to the 2010 USA arrests of 10 members of a Russian sleeper cell.

The administration officials said "well over 100 intelligence officers" operated in the United States, and Washington's action cuts 60 of them. "We will be guided by the principle of reciprocity as before", Peskov said.

In Washington, Russia's ambassador was summoned early in the morning and told his diplomats have one week to leave the USA and must evacuate the Consulate General in Seattle by April 2. "What US Consulate General would you close in @Russia, if it was up to you to decide" tweeted the embassy Monday.

Denmark, the Netherlands, Latvia, Spain and Italy said they had expelled two diplomats each. The officials weren't authorized to be identified by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

USA lawmakers largely welcomed Trump's move on Monday. Moscow also denies interference in the campaign.

He did not bring up the poisoning attack in his phone call with Putin.

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