Russia ETFs are reacting to President Donald Trump’s expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats the US identified as intelligence agents and the closure of a Russian consulate in Seattle.
The expulsion comes as a response to the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury on March 4.
Of those being expelled, 48 of the alleged intelligence agents work at the Russian embassy in Washington and 12 are posted at the United Nations in New York. The expulsion comes about 15 months after the Obama administration expelled 35 Russian diplomats because of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
According to CNN Politics, “The actions came less than a week after Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his reelection. Trump did not raise the nerve agent attack during the call, and senior administration officials said the two leaders have not spoken since.”
5 Russian ETFs React to explusion
Over the past day, five U.S. listed Russian ETFs are all down as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern time according to Yahoo Finance.
- VanEck Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) down .91%.
- iShares MSCI Russia Capped (ERUS) down 1.08%.
- Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3X ETF (RUSL) down 3.02%.
- VanEck Vectors Russia Small-Cap ETF (RSXJ) up 1.09%.
- SPDR S&P Russia ETF (RBL) down 1.42%.
The World Responds
Many European countries made the same move as well including. Germany, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Estonia, Italy, Poland and Lithuania, all announcing that they would be asking Russian diplomats to leave. Canada and Ukraine also said they would be asking Russian diplomats to leave.
“The United States takes this action in conjunction with our NATO allies and partners around the world in response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon on the soil of the United Kingdom, the latest in its ongoing pattern of destabilizing activities around the world,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, “Today’s extraordinary international response by our allies stands in history as the largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers ever and will help defend our shared security. Russia cannot break international rules with impunity.”
According to the Washington Post, “the show of solidarity was especially notable because Britain’s plan to leave the European Union has strained relations with many of the country’s neighbors.”
Breaking already weak ties
According to Reuters, “Russia’s Foreign Ministry called the actions a “provocative gesture” and promised to respond.” Moscow has denied being behind the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, “We take these actions to demonstrate our unbreakable solidarity with the United Kingdom, and to impose serious consequences on Russia for its continued violations of international norms.”