Trump Expels Russian Diplomats Amid Russia Scandal

Justin Rose
Voices Editor

On March 26, President Donald Trump and his administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats. They also ordered Russia’s consulate in Seattle, Washington, to be closed.

The expulsions are a direct response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, an ex-Russian spy, and his daughter that took place on March 4 in Salisbury, an English cathedral city.

Since Trump took office, there has been a stigma surrounding his administration for being pro-Russia.

This, like pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, among other things, has put Trump at odds with European countries.

However, this recent move by the Trump administration puts them on the side of America’s normal European allies.

The expulsions are just another brick in the wall in terms of relations between Russia and the United States.

Many Russians believed that a Trump presidency would help heal the wounds, but that doesn’t seem like the case just yet.

Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said in a response to the expulsions that the United States is destroying whatever is left of the relations between the two countries.

By expelling these diplomats, the White House is sending a message to the Russians that if they don’t stop with these acts of aggression, then more acts of retaliation will come about.

However, it is telling that Trump won’t publicly comment about this himself. It seems like he doesn’t want to anger Putin for reasons unbeknownst to the public.

I think it would be fair to say that Putin will take note of this and act accordingly. Putin has already dipped his toe in the waters with the 2016 presidential election hackings.

America’s intelligence agencies have already placed the blame on Putin and the Kremlin for this attack on our democracy.

The current US administration seems to be dragging their feet on punishing Russia. It took the Trump administration several months after Congress mandated the punitive measures against Russia to finally enact them.

Through a foreign policy lens, I view these expulsions as a good move for the United States.

Before this move, and starting with the Trump presidency, the United States seemed to be drifting apart from their traditional European allies.

To some people, it even seemed like the Trump administration was trying to buddy up to the Kremlin.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Chuck Grassley, declined to give his opinion on Trump’s recent call to Putin to congratulate him on his election victory, but did say that he personally wouldn’t have a conversation with the man.

“I think Putin is a criminal,” he said. “What he did in Georgia, what he did in Ukraine, what he’s done in the Baltics, what he’s done in London, poisoning people with nerve gas, that’s a criminal activity.”

If we continue to go down the path of alienating European allies and cozying up to known states that don’t have our best interest at hearts, then that could spell trouble.

If Trump continues to ignore Putin’s aggressions and allow him to continue to do whatever he wants, then that would give Putin the green light to perform more acts of aggression and defiance towards the western world.

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