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News > Russia

Russia Retaliates to Diplomats’ Expulsion

  • Russia announced the expulsion of foreign diplomats from the country. Apr. 19, 2022.

    Russia announced the expulsion of foreign diplomats from the country. Apr. 19, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@novinite_com

Published 19 April 2022
Opinion

On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the Ambassadors of Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands had been convened to brief on its diplomats to be expelled from the country.

In response to the previous decision to expel Russian diplomats from different countries as a sanction in light of the conflict in Ukraine, ambassadors from Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands were convened at the Russian Foreign Ministry, where they were told about a number of their diplomats that had been designated as personae non-gratae.

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All the foreign representatives in Russia had received a protest note regarding their government’s recent move of removing Russian personnel from the diplomatic missions. While Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands ambassadors were notified about the number of their own diplomats who would have to leave Russia in response, the one from Luxembourg just received a warning.

Moscow authorities said to Ambassador Werner Almhofer that Vienna’s decision of expelling four the Russian diplomats to the country on April 7 represented an “unfriendly act that seriously harms both bilateral relations and the international reputation of Austria,” adding that four of his employees had until April 24 to leave Russia. Mark Michielsen, Belgium ambassador, was handed a list where the Russian authorities were notified of the Belgian staff who would have to go before May 3. Belgium removed 21 Russian diplomats on March 29, accused of alleged “espionage” and “security threats.”

Moreover, the ambassador Gilles Beschoor Plug of the Netherlands was briefed on the 14 diplomatic personnel in Moscow's embassy alongside another diplomat from the consulate-general in St. Petersburg had two weeks to leave Russia as a response to the March 29 expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats from the embassy in The Hague, the trade mission in Amsterdam, and the permanent mission to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Russian officials said that it was “unacceptable” for the Netherlands to abuse its privileges as the host nation of the OPCW. Ambassador for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Georges Faber, was given a protest note over his government’s decision to expel a Russian diplomat.

Since the beginning of the Russian special military operation, the US and many of its NATO allies have been expelling Russian diplomats using pretexts that the Russian personnel were spies and citing the “invasion” of Ukraine.

Moscow's special operation in its neighboring state was the answer to Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements. The military operation was conducted and responded to the request made by the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk for support.

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