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Russian press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Moscow is considering breaking diplomatic ties with Western countries over the continued expulsion of Russian diplomats.
During the week, Russia has been facing the expulsion of its diplomats from Western countries and others, such as Spain, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Denmark. The European Union (EU), for its part, declared 19 employees of Russia's permanent mission to the bloc persona non grata.
Peskov said that given the current crisis in Ukraine, the preservation of diplomatic ties between countries around the world is of paramount importance but added that the expulsion of diplomats is detrimental to the maintenance of proper diplomatic relations.
In this regard, the official said that Moscow considers as a possibility cutting diplomatic ties with France and other nations in case Russian diplomats continue to be expelled.
The Kremlin spokesman, referring to the dialogue between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, said that Russia holds in high esteem the diplomatic efforts of the French president in connection with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Peskov said Moscow respects all efforts made to promote dialogue and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
If Western countries continue to expel Russian diplomats,Moscow won’t rule out possibility of severing diplomatic ties with the states concerned, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Wed.He explained that the recent wave of expulsions threatens continued diplomatic relations pic.twitter.com/MsYUyxLkvc
Many Russian diplomats have been expelled from several European countries because of the military operation launched by Moscow in Ukraine on February 24. Luxembourg, France, Spain, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are among the countries that have decided to expel Russian diplomats.
Sputnik reports that Western countries have expelled about 300 Russian envoys and says it is expected that the number will continue to grow.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned the pan-European move to kick out Russian diplomats, stating that it is an information and political attack on Russia.