The Kremlin said Wednesday it would expel 85 embassy staff from French, Italian and Spanish diplomatic missions after the three countries expelled hundreds of Russian diplomats. Russia has also closed the Moscow bureau of the Canadian broadcaster CBC and stripped its journalists of their visas and accreditation. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the decision came after Canada’s telecommunications regulator stopped distributing two Kremlin-sponsored channels.
Maria Zakharova: “A recent example was the ban imposed by the Canadian authorities on Russian TV channels Russia Today and Russia Today France from broadcasting in the country. We said that we would respond symmetrically, in a similar way — however you like to call it — adequately. And now we are responding.”