“Vladimir Putin and the Russian officials doing his bidding must face severe consequences for their destabilizing activities around the world. The announcement of the expulsion of dozens of Russian intelligence officers is the latest sign that the U.S. is fighting back against Russian aggression and nefarious global actions. This announcement comes on the heels of U.S.-imposed sanctions for election meddling. We must respond strongly to Russia – its government does not share our interests or values and has succeeded in sowing discontent in the United States and among our greatest allies. We must continue to denounce and punish Putin’s actions without hesitation.”
– Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) in a statement released on March 26 in reaction to the expulsion of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and the shuttering of the Russian Consulate in Seattle.
“It is encouraging that the Trump administration, in coordination with our allies in France, Germany, the U.K., and other countries of the EU, expelled Russian diplomats in response to the Skripal poisoning. This is important because allied unity is one of our greatest advantages in dealing with Kremlin aggression and provocations. The administration’s decision, not just to expel 60 Russian diplomats, but especially to close the Russian Consulate in Seattle, will make it much harder for Moscow to conduct espionage in the United States.
“While excellent, the coordinated trans-Atlantic action against Moscow should not be an excuse for the U.K. to rest after its expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats. The Skripal attack is the second known Kremlin chemical weapon strike on British territory. That requires a much stronger reaction than expelling 23 diplomats. Let’s hope that vested interests in London do not prevent the imposition of British sanctions. If we want to see an end to such violations of sovereignty, the United States and others in Europe should coordinate with London to place additional sanctions on Russia.”
– Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, commenting on March 27.