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Russian President Vladimir Putin stands on the stage as he addresses the Federal Assembly, including the State Duma parliamentarians, members of the Federation Council, regional governors and other high-ranking officials, in Moscow, Russia March 1, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

Canada joins U.S., European nations and expels Russian diplomats

Canada says it is expelling four Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says the nerve agent attack carried out on the soil of Canada’s close ally is despicable and potentially endangered the lives of hundreds of people.

Canada also says three applications by the Russian government for additional diplomatic staff will now be denied.

The four being expelled have been identified as intelligence officers or individuals who have used their diplomatic status to “undermine Canada’s security or interfere in our democracy.” They are at the embassy in Ottawa and the consulate in Montreal.

Meanwhile, Romania’s foreign ministry says it is expelling one Russian diplomat, calling the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal “a threat to collective security and international law.” The ministry says it agrees with Britain’s assessment that Russia likely was responsible for the attack.

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