CANBERRA, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered two Russian diplomats to leave the country within the next seven days, as diplomatic fallout from the nerve gas attack in Britain spreads to the other side of the world.
Turnbull's government joined the "largest collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history" on Tuesday, following U.S. President Donald Trump's eviction of 150 diplomats from the country the previous evening.
The Australian decision came after a chemical weapon was allegedly used in the attempted murder of former Russian intelligence official, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Britain on March 4.
In a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday, Turnbull said the expulsions were a "carefully calibrated clear and unequivocal message to the Russians."
Bishop even flagged the possibility that Australia might boycott the World Cup to be hosted in Russia from mid-June.
Earlier, the pair issued a joint statement in which Turnbull declared that the two banished Russian diplomats had been identified as undeclared intelligence officers.
The Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, came out in support of the government's decision.
More than 1150 Russian diplomats have been expelled from 20-plus Western countries in the largest coordinated diplomatic blow to Russian in the west since the Cold War.
The Kremlin denies any involvement in the incident involving the Skripals.