North Atlantic Treaty Organisation cuts Russian permanent mission by one third

He noted that the alliance had thus sent a clear message to Russian Federation that there were "costs and consequences for its unsafe pattern of behavior".

Skripal was granted refuge in the United Kingdom following a 2010 spy exchange between the USA and Russian Federation.

In the most sweeping such action against Moscow since the height of the Cold War, the United States and European Union members plan to expel scores of Russian diplomats in action against the Kremlin for the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter which they have blamed on Russia.

Many EU countries also ordered Russian diplomats out.

Mrs May has hailed the "unprecedented series of expulsions" of Russian diplomats across the globe in the wake of the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

Speaking on a trip to Uzbekistan, Lavrov said the USA has applied "colossal pressure, colossal blackmail, which have become Washington's main instrument on the global arena".

Russian Federation has denied any involvement.

"I welcome the worldwide support that we have garnered", she said.

"Those consultations have resulted so far in the expulsion of over 140 Russian officials by over 25 NATO Allies and partners", he said, adding that, "This is a broad, strong and coordinated global response".

The White House said that President Donald Trump spoke Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the leaders "expressed support" for the expulsions and "praised" the announcement by others who have followed suit.

This has been done so far by several other European countries that are not members of the EU: Ukraine (13), Norway (one), Albania (two) and Macedonia (one).

Dublin said it will expel one Russian diplomat, while Chisinau announced it had asked three diplomats to leave the country. Stoltenberg called the poisoning a "reckless breach of global norms", and commended the "broad, strong and coordinated worldwide response" by more than 25 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and partners.

But Western officials made it clear in announcing the expulsions that they share Britain's assessment that only the Kremlin could have been responsible.

In his article for The Times, Johnson said the attack fell into pattern of "reckless behavior" by Putin, including the annexation of Crimea.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed the US for strong-arming its allies to expel Russian diplomats.

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