The Russian embassy has cautioned the White House not to fall victim to British propaganda and its expulsion of Russian diplomats in the wake of the Skripal poisoning scandal, after US media reported on possible punitive measures.
On Friday, reports began to emerge that President Donald Trump is close to expelling a number of Russian diplomats as a response to the Skripal poisoning. The move, which could allegedly happen as early as Monday, follows major diplomatic pressure by the UK on Washington. Before the administration takes any decision on the case, the Russian Embassy in Washington urged Donald Trump not to give in to fake reportage of the Skripal case.
“In these troubled days the smaller partner requires help and guidance based on wise restraint more than ever,” Russia’s Embassy in the US said on Sunday, urging Washington, “being the number one ally of Downing Street,” to help London to calm down.
Embassy staff reiterated that the UK leadership’s accusations against Russia are being levied without even a “hint of evidence,” reminding the White House that UN experts are currently in the process of determining the origin of the nerve agent, which was allegedly used to poison Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4.
“They have already put all the blame on us while the investigation is still ongoing and the results are yet to be published… Moreover, they go the extra mile and suggest to punish Russia,” the embassy said. “Time after time we keep proving that every lunge against us will be parried tit-for-tat. Every suggestion to ‘punish Russia’ is a suggestion to at least self-inflict a wound.”
While Russia-US relations are “multilayered” and difficult at the time, the remaining constructive cooperation between the states should not become a hostage of “fake news,” the Russian mission added, emphasizing that the “strategic stability of the entire world depends on it.”
CNN had first reported the story of possible expulsion of the Russian diplomats, claiming that presidential advisers are trying to force Trump’s hand in taking tough action against Moscow. More reports followed. On Sunday, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source, that expulsion could happen as early as Monday.
“The United States stands firmly with the United Kingdom in condemning Russia’s outrageous action. The president is always considering options to hold Russia accountable in response to its malign activities,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah told Bloomberg on Saturday. Earlier, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert admitted that Washington is considering a “range of options” to respond to Russia’s “outrageous actions” out of “solidarity with our ally.”
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