Good afternoon, I would like to make a special announcement about the follow-up to the European Council’s decisions last week on the Salisbury attack.
To recall, last week the European Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the recent attack in Salisbury. The European Council agreed with the United Kingdom government's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. We decided to recall the EU Ambassador to Russia for consultations.
As a direct follow up to last week’s European Council decision to react to Russia within a common framework, already today 14 Member states have decided to expel Russian diplomats.
Additional measures, including further expulsions within this common EU framework are not to be excluded in the coming days and weeks.
We remain critical of the actions of the Russian government, but at the same time, today we Europeans - together with the Russian people - mourn the victims of the tragic fire in the city of Kemerovo in Western Siberia. Our thoughts and hearts are with you.