The Australian Government is expelling two Russian diplomats it believes are undeclared spies, joining world powers in taking action over the Skripal affair.
The officials will have to leave the country within seven days, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
The UK, United States and European allies of Britain have expelled 100 Russian diplomats over the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, the biggest expulsion since the Cold War.
Turnbull and Bishop said the UK Government advised Australia the substance used in the attack was a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. "Such an attack cannot be tolerated by any sovereign nation," they said.
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"This attack is part of a pattern of reckless and deliberate conduct by the Russian state that constitutes a growing threat to international security, global non-proliferation rules against the use of chemical weapons, the rights of other sovereign nations and the international rules-based order that underpins them."
Australia joined calls for Russia to disclose the full extent of its chemical weapons programme. The government noted it also still had sanctions in place against Russia over its involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014.
Turnbull and security agencies briefed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on the expulsion ahead of the announcement. The Labor leader supported the measure.
"There is no doubt that the actions Russians had taken in England has caused international outrage and that Australia along with many of its allies is taking commensurate responses to it," Shorten told reporters in Canberra. "These are undeclared agents and so therefore it is inappropriate that they be in Australia."