Expelled Russian diplomats depart Washington
WJLA-TV(WASHINGTON) — Two Russian state jets departed Dulles International Airport on Saturday carrying expelled diplomats, according to Russian state media.
On Monday, President Donald Trump ordered 60 Russian intelligence officers to leave the United States within seven days. White House officials said the expulsions were in response to the alleged poisoning attack on a former Russian spy in the United Kingdom earlier this month.
The two jets, registered as RA-96023 and RA-96018, arrived at the airport outside Washington, D.C., at 10:29 a.m. and 12:16 p.m., respectively, on Friday afternoon.
Several vans, two moving trucks and dozens of boxes were parked next to one of the jets at noontime Friday in an area away from the main terminal.
The Russians ordered to leave the United States were given a seven-day grace period to make arrangements with their families, official said.
The Russian embassy declined to comment.
One of the jets, RA-96023, is commonly-used for transporting high-level Russian officials, including the head of Russia’s intelligence service.
It was also reportedly used to pick up the Russian diplomats expelled from the UK, too, over the alleged spy poisoning.
The Russians ordered to leave the United States were given a seven-day grace period to leave the country with their families, senior administration officials said Monday.
Russia announced Thursday it would expel 60 U.S. diplomats and close the American consulate in St. Petersburg in retaliation against the coordinated wave of expulsions of dozens of Russian diplomats ordered by the United States and other countries.
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