Russia will close the American consulate in St Petersburg and expel diplomats in retaliation over the expulsion of scores of Russian diplomats from the US, Canada and the European Union earlier this week.
The announcement from Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov kicks off Moscow’s official response to the co-ordinated diplomatic sanctions western countries took to punish Russia for the poison attack against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in the UK.
俄罗斯外长谢尔盖?拉夫罗夫(Sergei Lavrov)作出的宣布，启动了莫斯科方面针对西方国家对俄采取协调一致外交制裁的官方回击，西方国家此举是为了惩罚俄罗斯在英国用神经毒剂袭击俄罗斯前双重间谍谢尔盖?斯克里帕尔(Sergei Skripal)。
In a broad show of solidarity with London, more than 20 EU and Nato member countries expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats which they said were undeclared spies, the largest such wave since Soviet times.
Russia will be expelling the same number of diplomats in return, said Mr Lavrov.
Moscow has railed against the UK for accusing the Russian government of the attack against Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a military-grade nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union.
London has said Moscow was to blame for the attack with a high degree of certainty because it was the only actor that had the capability, a motive and a record of such assassinations. Earlier on Thursday, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman called these allegations “a world-class fake” and accused the UK of engaging in “legal nihilism”.
Mr Lavrov said the US was being notified of Moscow’s response to the diplomatic sanctions as he was speaking.
“Literally at this moment, US ambassador Jon Huntsman is being summoned to our foreign ministry, where my deputy Sergei Ryabkov will explain to him the contents of these retaliatory measures with regard to the US,” Mr Lavrov said.
拉夫罗夫表示：“就在此时此刻，美国驻俄大使洪博培(Jon Huntsman)被传唤到我国外交部，我的副手谢尔盖?里亚布科夫(Sergei Ryabkov)将向他解释这些针对美国的报复措施的内容。”
The US consulate in Russia’s second-largest city would be required to close in two days, he said.
He added that Moscow would hit back against the other countries that had announced diplomatic sanctions against Russia in a strictly reciprocal way as well.