BERLIN: Russia on Friday expelled four German diplomats, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday, as the Kremlin responds in kind to expulsions of its own officials from Western countries standing with Britain over the poisoning of a former agent.

“The news from Moscow comes as no surprise,” Maas said in a statement. “Even in the current climate we remain ready for dialogue with Russia and we will work on both European security and constructive future relations between our countries.”

Germany this week expelled four Russian diplomats over Moscow’s suspected involvement in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in England.