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Karasin Says Georgia was ‘Influenced’ When Expelled Russian Diplomat

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, April 6
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin says that Georgia was under the international influence to expel a Russian diplomat at the end of March from Swiss Embassy, as Georgia and Russia has no direct diplomat ties.

“We can understand that the government of Georgia made the decision with the influence of the western countries, first of all the pressure came from the Great Britain and the United States. We were surprised when heard about the decision,” Karasin told the Ria Novosti on Thursday.

Georgia decided to expel a member of the staff of the Russian Federation Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi on March 29 in solidarity to the United Kingdom regarding the poisoning case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in London.

The decision of the government of Georgia came after NATO and more than 20 western countries expelled Russian diplomats and stood by the UK.

Col Sergei Skripal,66, is a former Russian military intelligence agent who sold secrets to the UK secret intelligence. He was imprisoned in Russia but was later sent to UK as part of a spy swap in 2010.

He was found slumped over on a shopping centre bench on March 4, alongside with his unconscious 33-year-old daughter Yulia Skripal.

British experts claim that a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union was used to poison them. They say extremely dangerous secret toxins known as Novicho were used against Skripals.

The two remain in hospital in critical condition.

The UK says the attack was "very likely” to have been carried out by Russia and has prompted the biggest crisis in UK-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War.

Russia denies responsibility for the attack.