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Georgia Expels Russian Diplomat Over Spy Poisoning


A police officer stands at a cordon around the bench where former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found after they were poisoned, in Salisbury, Britain, March 11, 2018.

The former Soviet republic of Georgia says it will expel a Russia diplomat in solidarity with Britain over the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy.

Thursday's announcement follows the expulsion of more than 150 Russian diplomats by European Union nations, the United States, NATO and other countries in response to the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Georgia severed diplomatic ties with Russia following a brief war in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia. Russian diplomats have been operating out of the special interests section of the Swiss embassy in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, since 2009.

Georgia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the diplomat has been declared persona non grata and must leave within a week. The ministry condemned the poisoning, calling it a "serious challenge to common security."

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