Nordic countries expel Russian diplomats

Nordic ministers and Sergey Lavrov. (Atle Staalesen/The Independent Barents Observer)
In a coordinated move, the Nordic governments made clear to the Russian Foreign Ministry that diplomatic workers will have to leave. While Norway, Sweden and Finland each expel one diplomat, Denmark expels two.

«The use of nerve agents in Salisbury is very serious […] it is the first time that a chemical weapon is used on European soil since the second world war,» says Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.

«Here, Norway stands together with the U.K., allied countries, partners and neighbours,» she underlines in a press release.

Eriksen Søreide confirms that she has informed the Russian Embassy in Oslo about the decision.

A similar announcement has been made from the Swedish side.

«The attempted murder in Salisbury is bigger than a bilateral issue between the U.K and Russia, it is an additional challenge of international regulations from the Russian side», says Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

«Therefore, we have to react,» he underlines.

«A threat to the security of the whole Europe»

A comment from the Finnish Foreign Ministry says that «it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible for the attack, [which] poses a serious threat to the security of the whole of Europe.»

«The President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy determined that Finland will expel one official with diplomatic status who works in the Russian Embassy in Helsinki», the Ministry says.

A big number of other countries are expelling Russian diplomats following the Salisbury attack. The U.K itself has announced the expulsion of 23 Russians. Both Germany and France expel four diplomats.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: North American Arctic is failing compared to Russia, Nordics, warns think tank,  Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Finns less interested in NATO, keep faith in EU, Yle News

Russia: What does Putin’s re-election mean for Russia’s Arctic policy?, Radio Canada International

Sweden: Swedish military wants to double in size, Radio Sweden

United States:  Trump signs defense bill to allow more missile interceptors in Alaska, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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