Thirteen Russian diplomats will be expelled from Ukraine in response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer in Salisbury (UK), Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wrote on Facebook on March 26.
Poroshenko condemned the killing of Skripal “as a cynical chemical attack.” He said Ukraine is expelling Russian diplomats “in the spirit of solidarity with our British partners and transatlantic allies” and in concert with other European nations.
Russia has once again shown “disdain to the sovereignty of independent states and human life”, he said, and noted that diplomatic relations between Kyiv and Moscow have been in fact frozen for years.
“It is crucial that the response should not boil down top symbolic gestures,” Poroshenko wrote and insisted that the further reaction of the West should make Moscow pay an increasingly greater price for the international crimes it commits, and suggested further strengthening of western sanctions against individuals close to the Kremlin and sweeping financial and sectoral sanctions.
Poroshenko stressed that the concerted international response to the Kremlin should be “decisive and tough” to avoid new human tragedies and flouting of the international law.
Earlier this week, the allies of the Great Britain and NATO ordered removing accreditation of dozens of Russian diplomats. The unprecedented demarche came on the hills to the brazen novichok nerve gas attack in Great Britain.
The chief of Russian foreign diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, brushed off the accusations as pressure and blackmail.