MOSCOW — Russia has expelled diplomats from 23 more countries on Friday in retaliation against the West as spy crisis escalates, in the biggest wave of tit-for-tat expulsions in recent memory.
The Russian foreign ministry said it had summoned the heads of missions from 23 countries — most of them European Union member states — to tell them that some of their diplomats had to leave.
The diplomats from France, Canada, Germany, Australia and other countries were earlier seen arriving at the Russian foreign ministry in flagged official cars.
France, Germany, Canada and Poland each said that Russia was expelling four of their diplomats. Among the other countries that had similarly been told to pull their envoys were the Netherlands, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania and Norway.
Thirteen Ukrainian diplomats should also leave Russia.
The moves came in retaliation for the coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats by Britain and its allies over a nerve agent attack against former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.
“This is certainly not a surprise,” Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said through a spokeswoman, referring to Moscow’s expulsion of two of the country’s diplomats.
Blok called upon Russia to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into the attack by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
The Russian foreign ministry also gave Britain a month to cut the number of diplomatic staff in Russia to the same number Russia has in Britain.
7 killed after Delhi-Bound train derails in Bihar
NEW DELHI — At least seven people have died and 14 others injured after a Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday morning in Bihar’s Vaishali district.
Eleven coaches of 12487 Seemanchal Express derailed near Sahadai Buzurg at around 3:52 am. Three of the coaches overturned and the high force of the impact destroyed them completely.
The injured are being transported to local hospitals.
The superfast train from Jogbani in Bihar to Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal was running at full speed when the accident took place, officials said.
Bodies are believed to be trapped inside one of the affected coaches and the number of dead is likely to rise, local police official said.