March 23, 2018 / 9:52 AM / a year ago

British embassy staff in Moscow seen gathering before expulsion deadline

A convoy of vehicles leaves the British embassy in Moscow, Russia March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

MOSCOW (Reuters) - British embassy employees gathered on the grounds of Britain’s embassy in Moscow on Friday ahead of a Russian deadline for 23 diplomats to leave in retaliation for London’s expulsion of the same number of Russian diplomats in a spy dispute.

A Reuters camera operator saw people embracing colleagues, ahead of the deadline for departure from Russia, and vehicles being readied on the grounds of the British embassy.

Russia expelled 23 British diplomats last Saturday in a carefully calibrated retaliatory move against London, which has accused the Kremlin of orchestrating a nerve toxin attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England.

Reporting by Dmitry Madorsky and Christian Lowe; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Polina Ivanova

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