Kudos to Team Trump for evacuating 60 Russian “diplomats” as Washington’s part of a 21-nation response to Moscow’s chemical attack on British soil.
The US move, ousting 12 Russians posted at the United Nations and 48 from DC, came the same day Poland, Germany and France each expelled four diplomats while 13 other EU members kicked out another 21. Canada sent four packing, Albania two and Norway one, while Ukraine gave the heave-ho to 13 more.
Washington is also shutting the Kremlin’s consulate in Seattle. Since it already had closed Russia’s San Francisco consulate plus two annexes in Washington and New York last August, Moscow is left with just its main embassy in DC plus a consulate in Houston and its UN mission here.
Of course, Vladimir Putin will inevitably respond by expelling Western diplomats. That’s one reason both President Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May need to get moving on sanctions the Kremlin can’t copy: going after all the billions that Putin’s cronies park in the West, especially high-end homes in London and New York City.
That will likely include changes to US and UK laws that allow foreigners to conceal their identities by investing via law firms.
It’s time for all the lawmakers in both countries who’ve been fulminating about Moscow’s menace to step up and give their leaders the tools they need to truly make Putin feel the pain.