Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Moscow shows the door to Nordic diplomats

Norway, Sweden, Finland and Demark are among the 23 countries Russia on Friday told it is expelling diplomats in a tit-for-tat move.
March 30, 2018

The Foreign Ministry denies any involvement in the nerve agent attack poisoning Sergey Skripal in the English town of Salisbury and strikes back against the countries expelling Russian diplomats in what is becoming a spiral of diplomatic war.

On Friday, the Foreign Ministry summoned ambassadors from 23 countries giving each single of them a note of protest of what the ministry says is “response to the unreasonable expulsion of Russian diplomatic staff on the basis of unproven allegations of Great Britain against Russia in the so-called Skripal-case.”

Great Britain and the other countries expelling Russian diplomats have accused Russia of orchestrating the nerve agent attack poisoning Skripal and his daughter Yulia on March 4th.

Norway, Finland and Sweden were told one diplomat at each embassy would have to leave Russia. Denmark was told to reduce its number of diplomats in Moscow by two. None of the Nordic countries have yet publicly told the identity of the diplomats who are ordered to leave Russia. Finland’s Foreign Ministry says in a press-release the Finnish diplomat will have to leave Moscow within two weeks. 

The other countries summoned to the ministry are Australia, Albania, Germany, Demark, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, France, Croatia, Czech Republic and Estonia. On Thursday, 60 American diplomats were told to leave Russia within a week. Great Britain was ordered to reduce its number of staff at its Moscow Embassy down to become in line with the number of Russian diplomats and administrative and technical workers in the United Kingdom.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says it reserves the right to expel diplomats from Belgium, Georgia and Montenegro since these countries expelled Russian diplomats just recently.  

One diplomat will have to leave the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

 

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