More EU member states kick out Russian diplomats — Analysis
Italy, Denmark, and Sweden will all expel 48 individuals as Moscow promises to retaliate
Italy, Denmark and Sweden have decided to expel a combined total of 48 Russian diplomats, becoming the latest EU countries to resort to the measure in the ongoing diplomatic crisis amid Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
The Russian ambassadors were informed Tuesday by the foreign ministers of the three countries.
As part of this move, Denmark will expell 15 Russian diplomats. Jeppe Kofod, the foreign minister of Denmark has advised the Russian ambassador that 15 Russian diplomats will be expelled as part of the move. The Russian ambassador now has two weeks to depart the country.
The Danish Foreign Ministry stated that these people were at the Russian Embassy, Copenhagen.
“This will signal to Moscow that we won’t accept Russian intelligence officers spying on Danish territory,”Kofod.
“They constitute a risk for our national security, which we cannot overlook. Along with a number of our closest allies, we therefore put our foot down on the espionage the identified persons practice under the cover of diplomatic status.”
Even though the diplomat and others were expelled, the Danish Foreign Ministry maintained that they would continue diplomatic ties to Moscow.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has also informed the ambassador that the country will be kicking out 30 Russian diplomats, citing “security concerns.”
Ann Linde, Swedish Foreign Minister announced that three Russian diplomats will be deported by the country. “whose work in Sweden is not in accordance with the Vienna Convention,”Reporters were informed by her.
Jonas Store, the Norwegian Prime Minister, has stated that his government was also looking into similar moves but has not yet made a decision.
The moves come just a day after Germany announced it would be expelling 40 Russian diplomats, while France said it would expel “about 30.”
At this point, more than 200 Russian diplomats working in the US and Europe have now been sent home since the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry has said that mass expulsions of Russian diplomats won’t go unanswered. Moscow will also take similar measures in response.
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