President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States following the country’s alleged use of a nerve agent to poison a double agent and his daughter in the United Kingdom earlier this month.
The president also ordered the Russian consulate in Seattle, Washington, to close because of its “proximity to one of our submarine bases and Boeing.”
Of the 60 people expelled, 12 of them have been identified as intelligence officers who were stationed at the United Nations in New York, the New York Times reports. The people ordered to leave the country have seven days to do so.
“Today’s actions make the United States safer by reducing Russia’s ability to spy on Americans and to conduct covert operations that threaten America’s national security,” the White House said in a statement. “With these steps, the United States and our allies and partners make clear to Russia that its actions have consequences.”
Russia has denied being involved with the poisoning, where a former Russian spy, Sergei V. Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, with a “military grade” nerve agent, the Times reports.
Last week, Trump said it “looks like” Russia was behind the attack, and said that the White House was “taking it very seriously.”
Earlier this month, the Trump administration enacted sanctions against Russia relating to their meddling in the 2016 election. The sanctions applied to five entities and 19 people. The sanctions were approved by Congress last summer.
You can read more about the expulsions here.