Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Russia threatens response after four countries expel 20 diplomats

Four European countries have expelled a total of 20 Russian diplomats in a coordinated move that triggered a threat from the Russian foreign ministry. “All ungrounded expulsions of Russian diplomats will be met with an appropriate answer,” said Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry. (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2022/03/18/Bulgaria-Latvia-estonia-Lithuania-Lavrov-Ukraine/9591647615579/) Bulgaria gave 10 diplomats 72 hours to leave the country and Lithuania expelled four Russian diplomats. Latvia and Estonia expelled three each. Latvia Minister For Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics tweeted on Friday that the three Russian embassy employees were expelled “in connection with activities that are contrary to their diplomatic status and taking into account ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine.” The expulsion of diplomats between Russia and the west has a long history. In late February, the United States expelled 12 diplomats from Russia’s United Nations mission, citing espionage.

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