18 countries expel Russian intelligence officers; UK Commons inquiry

More than 20 countries have announced their intention to expel over 100 Russian intelligence officers from their countries.

The US is expelling 60 Russian intelligence officers in retaliation for the Salisbury poisoning, in order to reduce Russia’s ability to “spy on Americans” and show Russia that “its actions have consequences” (see White House statements here and here). 48 are based at the Russian mission to the USA and 12 at the UN mission in New York. The US has also closed the Russian consulate in Seattle. Russia has said it will retaliate.

The European Council has said that 14 EU member states had decided to expel Russian diplomats after the UK expelled 23. So far Germany, France and Poland have said they will expel 4, Lithuania & the Czech 3, and Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands 2. Ukraine will expel 13 Russian diplomats and Canada 4. The EU has said that “additional measures, including further expulsions within this common EU framework are not to be excluded in the coming days and weeks.”

New Zealand has announced that it will be imposing travel restrictions on all the individuals that are expelled by other countries (New Zealand made no actual expulsions, as its government had declared that there were no individuals who fell into the profile of ‘undeclared Russian intelligence agent’).

Meanwhile, the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee is to examine whether and how the UK can impose further financial sanctions on Russian money in British tax havens.

This entry was posted in Russia, United Kingdom, USA by Maya Lester QC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC has a wide ranging practice in public law, European law, competition law, international law, human rights & civil liberties. She has a particular expertise in sanctions. As the most recent (2016) Chambers & Partners directory put it, she "owns the world of sanctions". She spent 2011-12 in New York at Columbia Law School lecturing and writing on sanctions. She represents and advises hundreds of companies and individuals before the European and English courts and has acted in most of the leading cases, including Kadi, Tay Za, Central Bank of Iran, NITC and IRISL.

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