Britain calls diplomat expulsions "crude attempt" at distraction by Russia

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Foreign Affairs Secretary Dominic Raab walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain, February 3, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) - British foreign minister Dominic Raab called Russia’s expulsion of EU diplomats a “crude attempt” to distract from the country’s targeting of opposition leaders, saying on Friday that London stood in solidarity with its “European friends”.

“The expulsion of German, Polish and Swedish diplomats from Russia for simply doing their jobs is a crude attempt to distract from Russia’s targeting of opposition leaders, protesters and journalists,” Raab said on Twitter.

“We stand in solidarity with our European friends in the face of this unjustified action. This is the latest in a series of actions, since the poisoning of @Navalny, which shows the Russian government turning its back on international law.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Catherine Evans