RUSSIA CLOSING U.S. CONSULATE
Russia is to expel US diplomats and order the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday, in retaliation for a similar US move last week. Lavrov did not state the number of diplomats being expelled, but Russian state media TASS said it was 60. More than 20 countries said they would expel more than 100 Russian diplomats this week over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter on British soil. UK authorities have openly blamed Russia for using a military-grade nerve agent for the poisoning, in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.