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Georgia Expels Russian Diplomat, Joining Dozens Of Countries

People protest outside the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi .
People protest outside the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi .

Georgia has decided to expel a Russian diplomat, joining dozens of countries in a response to the nerve-agent poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

In a March 29 statement, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said it "condemns the use of chemical weapons on the territory of the United Kingdom that caused grave human suffering...and posed serious threat to life and health of others."

Stressing that the poisoning "represents a serious challenge to common security," the ministry said that a staff member at the Russian Federation interests section at the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi must leave the country within seven days.

Georgia's move follows the expulsion of more than 150 Russian diplomats by Britain, the United States, NATO, many European Union countries, and several others that are not in the EU, including Ukraine.

Diplomatic relations between NATO-aspirant Georgia and Russia were severed shortly after long-standing tension between the two former Soviet republics erupted into a five-day war in August 2008.

Switzerland, which has a record of representing other countries in third-party states, opened its Russian Federation interests section in 2009. Simultaneously, a Georgian interests section was opened by the Swiss Embassy in Moscow.

With reporting by