Expelling diplomats: Russia can respond tougher than expected
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 28
By Azer Ahmadbayli – Trend:
The Salisbury incident set back even further the prospects of establishing a dialogue between Russia and the West.
The US, Canada, Australia and a number of European countries, announced the expulsion of a large number of Russian diplomats due to accusations the Great Britain brought against Russia over the attempt on life of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and use of chemical weapons in the heart of Europe..
Russia has two options to respond to the actions.
The first option took place in the recent past – in December 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided not to expel the US diplomats from Russia in response to the new sanctions Washington had imposed against Moscow, as well as the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the closure of two facilities owned by Russia in the States of New York and Maryland.
We will not stoop to the level of irresponsible “kitchen” diplomacy, Vladimir Putin said at the time.
The second option is a proven practice of mirror actions, when Moscow can say goodbye to about the same number of diplomats from the above mentioned countries in response to their actions.
Based on comments of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, it comes out that Moscow intends to go with a tougher option.
Moscow will not tolerate the Western countries’ boorishness and will definitely respond to the expulsion of diplomats, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"Rest assured, we will respond," Lavrov told TASS. "The reason is that no one would like to tolerate such boorishness. We will not do that," he added.
However, Moscow’s reply might be limited not only to the expulsion of foreign diplomats.
A possible response of Moscow might lie in what Mr. Lavrov said further: "When one or two diplomats are asked to leave this or that country, with apologies being whispered into our ears, we know for certain that this is a result of colossal pressure and colossal blackmail, which is Washington’s main tool on international arena."
Russia may sever diplomatic relations with one or two of those countries that have joined the UK and the US, and where Russia's national interests will suffer minimal losses.
This might become a cold shower for many countries and a kind of warning that Russia is also capable of exerting “colossal pressure.”
I don’t think there are many countries in the world for which severance of diplomatic relations with Russia does not matter.
The move may seem incredible, but it’s quite possible. If Russia is continuously be pushed to break bad, it will do so in the end.