US, allies band together to expel Russians over spy case

US, allies band together to expel Russians over spy case, by Josh Lederman.

From Washington to Warsaw, Western nations banded together Monday to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats they accused of being spies, punishing Moscow for its alleged poisoning of an ex-intelligence officer in Britain.

President Donald Trump, under constant political heat for his reluctance to challenge Russia, ordered 60 of its diplomats out of the U.S. — all of them spies, the White House said. The United States called it the largest expulsion of Russian spies in American history, and also shuttered Russia’s consulate in Seattle, deeming it a counterintelligence threat.

All told, at least 21 countries have ousted more than 135 Russians, including 23 kicked out earlier by the U.K.

“Together we have sent a message that we will not tolerate Russia’s continued attempts to flout international law and undermine our values,” British Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament. …

Almost all of the countries said publicly that those being expelled were actually Russians intelligence operatives working under diplomatic cover.