Germany, Sweden and Poland toss out Russian diplomats over Moscow expulsions
Germany, Sweden and Poland on Monday each threw out a Russian diplomat in retaliation for Moscow’s expulsion last week of their diplomats for allegedly taking part in protests in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
The three EU countries announced the tit-for-tat moves in coordinated statements, drawing an angry response from Russia which accused them of meddling in its internal affairs.
Russia humiliated the European Union on Friday by announcing the expulsions during a rare meeting in Moscow between EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
European governments strongly condemned the shock expulsions, with Berlin warning that it would respond in kind.
Moscow’s decision to expel the three diplomats “was in no way justified”, the German foreign ministry said Monday, adding that the German staff member had been doing his job of “observing developments in Russia by lawful means”.
We have informed the Russian Ambassador that a person from the Russian embassy is asked to leave Sweden. This is a clear response to the unacceptable decision to expel a Swedish diplomat who was only preforming his duties.
— Ann Linde (@AnnLinde) February 8, 2021
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said Stockholm had “informed the Russian ambassador that a person from the Russian embassy is asked to leave Sweden”.
“This is a clear response to the unacceptable decision to expel a Swedish diplomat who was only performing his duties,” she wrote on Twitter.
The Polish foreign ministry likewise condemned the “groundless expulsion” of a Polish diplomat from Saint Petersburg and said it had declared “persona non grata” a Russian consular official in Poznan, western Poland.
The Russian foreign ministry immediately hit back…..read more