Sergey Andreyev, the Russian ambassador in Poland, said that the Polish Foreign Ministry sent a notification indicating that 45 Russian diplomats should leave the country, giving them five days as a deadline.
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"I've received a note from the [Polish] Foreign Ministry on the expulsion of 45 of our employees - embassy, trade mission - due to activities that do not comply with the Vienna Convention," he disclosed.
Andreyev stated that there are no grounds for the decision of expelling the diplomats. On the other hand, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said that the country had expelled 45 alleged Russian spies pretending to be diplomats.
"Our employees have been doing normal diplomatic and trade work," said Andreyev. "There are no grounds for such accusations." The ambassador himself is not among the diplomats listed to be expelled. "I have not been declared a persona non grata. I stay," Andreyev stated.
On Wednesday, the Polish Interior Minister posted on his Twitter account: "We are dismantling the Russian special services network in our country." Despite the Russian ambassador confirming that "formally, they [relations] exist. They have not been severed. There are embassies; there are ambassadors."
Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina commented during a news briefing in Warsaw that "Russia is our neighbor and will not disappear from the map of Europe, but the aggression against Ukraine proves that it is a hostile state, and even hostile to Poland." Adding that "the illegal activities of these diplomats can also pose a threat to those people who left their country to flee the war and found protection in our country."
The spokesman said that "Poland, in coordination with our allies, decided to significantly reduce the diplomatic staff of the Embassy of the Russian Federation." However, Andreyev said Moscow is "entitled to make its own decisions on reciprocal steps. They [steps] will definitely follow […] under the principle of reciprocity. When asked whether Polish diplomats would be expelled from Russia, the envoy said, "of course."
The Russian ambassador said that the enlisted officials to be expelled were set to leave the country in different periods. He confirmed that the Russian embassy would continue its operation in the country and that the employers would not be replaced. "Apparently, the Polish side will not agree to a replacement," said Andreyev.