Russia has ordered 60 US diplomats to leave the country, in direct retaliation to a similar move made by Washington over the poisoning of a spy in the UK.
The US ambassador was also ordered to shut the consulate in St Petersburg.
The Americans have been given until April 5 to leave Russia.
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There are reports that Russia will also order another 100 diplomats to leave from other countries – although it is yet to be confirmed exactly which countries may be involved.
Australia followed over a dozen countries in ordering Russian spies and diplomats to leave the country earlier this week, in a show of solidarity with the UK over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
British authorities have confirmed overnight that Yulia is getting better after spending the last three weeks in a critical condition.
“I’m pleased to be able to report an improvement in the condition of Yulia Skripal,” Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury District Hospital, said in a statement on Thursday.
“She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours a day,” she said.
Her father remained in a critical but stable condition, the hospital said.