The list of expelled Russian diplomats is growing. After France and Germany on Monday, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Denmark on Tuesday, April 5 announced a mass expulsion ofe Russian diplomats. In total, according to AFP statistics, almost 200 Russian diplomats stationed in Europe were expelled.
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The latest deportations come after dozens of civilian bodies were discovered in Bucha and other localities northwest of Kyiv, marking a further deterioration in diplomatic relations with Moscow.
Who expelled Russian diplomats?
On Monday, France and Germany joined the list of European countries that decided to return Russian diplomats. According to a brief press release from the Quai d’Orsay, the French diplomat decided to expel “Many Russian personnel with diplomatic status assigned to France and whose activities are contrary to our security interests.” “This work is part of a European approach”specifies the State Department, without giving the exact number of people involved.
And in Germany, about forty Russian diplomats stationed in the German capital, Berlin, were ordered to leave the country, according to Agence France-Presse. These staff members form the Russian Embassy “A threat to those who seek protection with us”And the Annalena Barbock, German Foreign Minister, said:. “We will not tolerate that any longer.”She added in a written statement.
For its part, Italy announced, on Tuesday, the expulsion of 30 Russian diplomats for reasons related to… “National Security”. Spain made the same decision for 25 people. “The ambassador is not included because we want to give a chance for dialogue”Jose Manuel Alparis, Spain’s foreign minister, said. in denmark, Fifteen intelligence officers [qui] carried out espionage activities She was ordered to leave the country, while three diplomats were expelled from Sweden.
What countries have already made this decision?
The waltz was initiated by the United States, which expelled twelve Russian diplomats from the United Nations. “to spy”, from February 28. The expulsions accelerated as of mid-March, with the Baltic states jointly declaring the sacking of ten Russian diplomats. On Twitter, March 18Latvian Foreign Minister announced the expulsion Three employees of the Russian Embassy due to activities incompatible with their diplomatic status.. Lithuania and Estonia returned four and three Russian diplomats, respectively.
And it has spread, with Poland, Belgium, Ireland, Slovakia and the Netherlands following in their footsteps. Thus, Warsaw was expelled 45 Russian spies pretending to be diplomats. On March 29, Brussels gave 21 people working for the Russian embassy and consulate in Antwerp 15 days to leave the country. They are all suspected of involvement In espionage and influence operationsAccording to the head of the Belgian diplomacy. The Netherlands justifies its decision to expel 17 intelligence officers “Because of the threat this group poses to national security.” Based on “The current position of Russia in general”According to France 24.
What are the reasons for these referrals?
These evacuations come a day after dozens of bodies were discovered in the streets or mass graves of Bucha after the withdrawal of Russian forces. According to the head of the Spanish diplomacy, Jose Manuel Albares, This decision is directly related to “The terrible events of recent days in Ukraine, Bucha and Mariupol”.
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For MEP Bernard Guetta (LREM), these expulsions are a “political signal” Sent to Russia. “We come to these mass expulsions because these ghosts can no longer tolerate their presence in a distinctly completely different political climate, especially after the revelations of the mass killings of civilians perpetrated by the Russian army around Kyiv”explained on the franceinfo website.
On Monday, the Lithuanian government decided to go ahead with the expulsion of the ambassador of the Russian Federation and the closure of the Russian consulate located in Klaipeda, a port city in which Russians make up 20% of the population. resolution In response to the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces in various occupied Ukrainian cities, The head of the Lithuanian diplomacy announced.
What is Russia’s reaction?
The Kremlin, rejecting any responsibility for the massacres committed in the Kyiv region, responded forcefully to these sanctions and Let him know that she will take revenge. “This is clearly a pre-coordinated campaign.”Russia’s deputy foreign minister criticized on Tuesday. “This is a blow to the bilateral relations for the channels of diplomatic talks.”He added considering it “The consequences will be felt for a very long time.”
German expulsion, referee “Unfriendly”He goes “deteriorate” Relations between Berlin and Moscow, the Russian Embassy in Berlin responded to Telegram, denouncing a “Unfounded reduction in the number of diplomatic staff”. “We expressed our categorical rejection of the unilateral accusations by Berlin, which hastened to take Kyiv’s side, without even waiting for an independent investigation into the Pötsch events.”continued.
As for the expulsion of the Russian ambassador from Vilnius, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman denounced the procedure “Very unfriendly” Lithuania was accused of wanting “Destruction of Bilateral Relations”. as a response, Moscow is studying “thus” retaliatory measures.