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 Canadian minister says Russia's behavior unacceptable, calls Salisbury nerve agent attack “horrendous and despicable”

Canada believes expulsion of Russian diplomats is perfectly appropriate response to demonstrate the country's strong disapproval of Russia's likely involvement in the situation in Salisbury.

As reported by Censor.NET citing CTVNews, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness of Canada Ralph Goodale described the nerve agent attack as "horrendous and despicable."

"We believe that the response is perfectly appropriate to demonstrate Canada's strong disapproval of Russia's likely involvement in the situation in Salisbury, standing with the U.K., standing with other countries to make it abundantly clear that this behaviour is unacceptable," Goodale said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Monday that four members of Russia’s diplomatic staff working at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Canada and at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Montreal are being removed from Canada, and three applications for additional staff are being denied.

"The four have been identified as intelligence officers or individuals who have used their diplomatic status to undermine Canada's security or interfere in our democracy," Freeland said in a statement announcing the move.

Freeland said the move is in "solidarity" with the United Kingdom over the March 4 nerve agent attack in Salisbury on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, both of whom remain in hospital in critical condition.

Goodale, however, declined to explain how the expelled diplomats were working to undermine Canada’s security and democracy (a point made in Freeland’s statement about the expulsions), saying only that Canada is "very alert to the activities that we consider to be unacceptable."

"I don’t discuss operational matters," Goodale added. "But you can be sure that all of our security agencies and police agencies have done their job and they've done it in an exceedingly focused and accurate manner."

As reported, Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia Skripal, 33, remain critically ill in hospital, after they were found unconscious on a bench in the Wiltshire city on March 4. The UK government says they were poisoned with a nerve agent of a type developed by Russia called Novichok and PM Theresa May said she believed Moscow was "culpable."

UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats as part of a "full and robust" response – prompting Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to say it will "certainly" expel British diplomats in response.

On March 16, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance had "no reason to doubt the findings and assessments by the British government" which suggested Russian responsibility. He said the "UK is not alone" and Nato allies gave "strong political support" to Britain, following a joint statement from the US, France and Germany backing Mrs May's government and a pledge of support from Australia.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said that the U.K.'s government believes that it was likely Putin's decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians from the United States on Monday, including 12 people identified as Russian intelligence officers who have been stationed at the United Nations in New York.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3057928