President Donald Trump spoke separately Tuesday with his German and French counterparts following moves by the U.S., Canada and Europe to expel Russian diplomats in retaliation for a chemical attack in the U.K., APA reports quoting Reuters.
Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the expulsion of "undeclared Russian intelligence officers in solidarity with the United Kingdom and in response to Russia’s reckless use of chemical weapons", the White House said in a readout of the bilateral call.
The matter was also raised in Trump's telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, the White House said in a separate statement.
The U.S., EU member states, Canada and a handful of non-E.U. European countries expelled dozens of Russian diplomats Monday accused of acting as spies within their countries under the protections of diplomatic immunity.
NATO followed up Tuesday by expelling seven Russian staffers from Russia’s Mission to the transatlantic alliance.
The moves came in response to the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.
Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were admitted to a hospital after being found unconscious in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.
British officials have placed blame squarely with Russia, a charge Vladimir Putin adamantly denies.
London has said the attack was carried out using a Soviet-era Cold War nerve agent from a family called Novichok.
Trump also discussed China's "unfair" economic practices with Macron and Merkel, the White House said, adding during his conversation with Merkel the leaders "discussed leveling the playing field on tariffs and the crisis with North Korea.”