Australia set to expel Russian diplomats
AUSTRALIA is considering expelling Russian diplomats as part of a mass international push to condemn the nation for its involvement in a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in the UK.
Overnight, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats, calling them "spies", in solidarity with the United Kingdom over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
Diplomats are also being kicked out of at least 20 other countries including 16 European nations, Canada, Ukraine, Norway and Albania.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has yet to confirm if Australia will join the action but the Nine Network reports Australia is considering expelling two diplomats today.
It is not known which diplmatics will face deportation from Canberra.
The UK has already expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the former Russian spy in early March.
Moscow then retaliated by sending back 23 British diplomats.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has backed British Prime Minister Theresa May since she expelled Russian diplomats from the UK on March 15.
"Australia stands with the UK in solidarity and supports, in the strongest terms, Prime Minister May's response to this heinous attack, the first use of chemical weapons in Europe since World War Two," Mr Turnbull said in a joint statement with Ms Bishop at the time.
"We share the UK's outrage over this targeted attempt to commit murder using chemical weapons," he said.
Australia already has sanctions on Russia but the government has been considering harsher measures in response to the attempted assassination of Skripal.