Malta yesterday recalled its ambassador in Russia. It wasn’t the only country to do so. There were also a number of countries which expelled the Russian diplomats from their country.
In fact in just over a week, after the Vladimir Putin won a fourth term in office, a number of countries, normally labelled as the ‘WEST’ led by the EU and the US, expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats in what is seen as an ‘extraordinary coordinated response’ to a nerve agent attack in England that they said could only have been carried out with Moscow’s involvement.
This move confirms that the ‘WEST’ is fed up of what can be defined as a pattern of aggression and denial from Russia. This retaliation in fact, was initiated without conclusive proof of Russia’s direct responsibility in the March 4 nerve agent attack, which left a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, gravely ill.
It’s interesting to note that the expulsions ordered by 16 EU members in relation to this issue between the U.K. and Russia, despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations, amounted to a strong display of European solidarity with the U.K., as a majority of the bloc brushed aside the initial hesitation of some countries, notably Greece, to point a finger at Moscow.
Jesmond Saliba | Diplomatique.Expert for Corporate Dispatch