Kremlin talks of retaliation
Moscow expels 36 European diplomats
04/19/2022, 3:58 pm
Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many states have declared Russian diplomats undesirable. Moscow is also responding to the expulsion. 36 diplomats from Belgium and the Netherlands are now set to leave the country.
Russia expels 36 European diplomats The foreign ministry in Moscow announced 21 more diplomats from Belgium and 15 from the Netherlands were declared undesirable. This is in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats in connection with Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
According to the ministry, 14 employees of the Dutch Embassy in Moscow and one employee of the Dutch Consulate General in St Petersburg are among those affected. The ministry said he would have to leave Russia within two weeks. Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said he “regrets” Moscow’s decision.
“unfriendly and baseless”?
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Luxembourg ambassador was called upon to “strongly” protest against the expulsion of a Russian diplomat from Luxembourg. The ministry said Russia reserves the “right to retaliate” for this “uncivilized and baseless” move.
In recent weeks, several European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, have expelled dozens of Russian diplomats. In some cases, this was clearly justified with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in other cases it was about allegations of espionage. In response, Moscow expelled dozens of European diplomats.
Just a few days ago, France expelled six Russian secret agents from the country. The Paris Foreign Ministry said the agents were acting under the guise of diplomacy. After a lengthy investigation, security officials managed to uncover the hidden operations of the Russian secret services.
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