Dozens of Russian diplomats expelled from EU — Analysis

Four member states have accused Moscow’s envoys of espionage and of posing a threat to security, sending home more than 40 of them

Belgium, Ireland and the Czech Republic are set to expell more than 40 Russian diplomats they have accused of spying.

Belgium is to expel 21 Russian nationals who worked at Moscow’s embassy in Brussels and its consulate in Antwerp. A spokesperson claimed that although they were all diplomats, the group was actually engaged in spying, influencing and other activities.

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.

Later on Tuesday, the Czech Republic followed suit, its Foreign Ministry announcing on Twitter the expulsion of a member of the diplomatic staff at Russia’s embassy in Prague. It said he had been given 72 hours’ notice to leave, and that Czechia and its European Union allies were “reducing the Russian intelligence presence in the EU.”

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