>> Almost as soon as they arrived, they were gone. Russia has now fulfilled its promise to retaliate against the expulsion of scores of its own diplomats from Western countries by doing the same in kind. In rapid succession on Friday morning, the ambassadors of countries ranging from the Netherlands to Australia were summoned to the foreign ministry in Moscow.
They arrived moments from each other. The Ministry says they were handed notes of protest. Several told Reuters afterwards that they'd been given only days to prepare for some, but not all, of their diplomats to leave the country. It came a day after Russia announced it was expelling 60 American officials.
At least some of the diplomats on both sides are thought to be undercover intelligence officers. All the Western countries involved had been backers of Britain in the wake of former spy, Sergei Skripal's poisoning. He's still in critical condition but his daughter who was also exposed to the nerve agent is recovering.
Russia denies any role in the incident