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Diplomat expulsions signal newly hawkish U.S. approach to Russia

Office building in Seattle that houses Russian consulate
The Seattle building that houses the Russian Consulate. Photo: Aaron Jacob / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The Trump administration's decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S. and shut down the Russian consulate in Seattle was an important expression of solidarity with the U.K., which had expelled 23 Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy. More than 20 countries have now jointly responded, expelling more than 100 Russian diplomats worldwide.

What's next: Russia has vowed to retaliate, but the scope of its response remains unknown. One thing is clear: The downward spiral in relations will not abate as long as the Kremlin continues its confrontation course with the West.