Belgium, Ireland, and Netherlands expel Russian diplomats — Analysis

The three nations accuse Moscow’s envoys of espionage and of posing a threat to security

Belgium, Ireland, and the Netherlands have announced the expulsion of more than 40 Russian diplomats amid the West’s deteriorating relations with Moscow.

Belgium is to expel 21 Russian nationals who worked at Moscow’s embassy in Brussels and its consulate in Antwerp. According to a spokesperson, it alleges that they all had been granted diplomatic accreditation, but were actually involved in spying on and influencing others.

According to information received from the security services, the Dutch Foreign Ministry announced it was expelling 17 Russian intelligence officers with diplomatic credentials. The Dutch Foreign Ministry stated that it was ready for any counter-retaliatory actions that Moscow may take.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs has expelled four senior officials who had worked at the Russian Embassy, saying their actions had “not been in accordance with international standards of diplomatic behavior.”The government stated that it was still of the opinion that diplomatic channels between Ireland, Russia Federation and other countries should be maintained open.

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