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U.S., Europe punish Russia over spy case, diplomats ousted

Staff Writer |
The United States and more than a dozen European nations kicked out Russian diplomats and the Trump administration ordered Russia's consulate in Seattle to close.

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Warning of an "unacceptably high" number of Russian spies in the U.S., the Trump administration said 60 diplomats would be expelled — all Russian intelligence agents working under diplomatic cover, the U.S. said.

The group includes a dozen posted to Russia's mission to the United Nations who the officials said were engaged in "aggressive collection" of intelligence on American soil.

Fourteen European Union nations were expelling Russian diplomats, EU chief Donald Tusk said, with more likely to follow. An EU official put the total from those countries at more than 30 Russians.

Germany, Poland and France each planned to boot four, the Czech Republic three, Italy two, and Croatia one.

Ukraine, a non-EU country with its own conflicts with Moscow, was expelling 13 Russians, President Petro Poroshenko said. All three Baltic states said they would kick diplomats out.

Canada, too, said it was taking action, kicking out four and denying three who have applied to enter the country.

Almost all of the countries said publicly that the Russian diplomats they were expelling were actually spies.

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