Moscow : Russia on Friday expelled Dutch diplomats and told Britain it had one month to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country, hitting back at EU countries after a coordinated campaign by the UK and its allies over a nerve agent attack on a former spy.

Earlier in the day Russia had summoned the ambassadors of a number of nations including Britain, France, Germany and Canada to inform them of retaliatory measures.Dutch ambassador Renee Jones-Bos said she had been told two diplomats would be expelled. “Two of my colleagues are leaving Moscow. But we (the embassy) are staying here,” state news agency TASS quoted her as saying.The Russian foreign ministry also gave Britain a month to cut its number of diplomatic staff in Russia to the same as Russia has in Britain.

Moscow has already announced that it would expel 60 US diplomats and close Washington’s consulate in Saint Petersburg after the expulsion of its own diplomats and the closure of one of its US consulates.

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