At the European Council on 22 and 23 March, the European Council condemned in very strong terms the attack of 4 March 2018. Britain's analysis showed that it was very likely that the Russian Federation is responsible. At the European Council, it was agreed that the EU would recall its ambassador to Moscow for consultation. Member States could take additional measures if they so wished.
On 26 March 2018, at the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives, 14 EU Member States announced the expulsion of diplomatic staff.
Belgium condemned the attack at a very early stage, expressed its solidarity with Great Britain and called for coordination at European level in the response to be provided.
After coordinating with its partners in the EU and the NATO, Belgium decided to dismiss a member of the diplomatic staff of the Russian mission accredited to the Kingdom of Belgium.
Given the gravity of the events in Salisbury and the high probability of Russia's involvement in this attack, we consider this measure to be fully justified.
The Russian Ambassador will be notified about this decision within 48 hours. The person concerned will have 14 days to leave Belgium.
As NATO Headquarters and in accordance with its Seat agreement with this institution, Belgium will faithfully implement the decisions taken by NATO.
In line with the visits of the Prime minister and the Vice Prime-minister to Russia, Belgium continues to plead for an open and frank dialogue with Russia on topics of common interest.
Belgium demands that this matter be clarified and calls for compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.