(Berlin) Germany, Sweden and Poland on Monday announced the deportation of Russian diplomats. A similar move by Moscow on February 5 targeted diplomats accused of demonstrating in favor of rival Alex Navalny.
The governments of the three countries announced almost simultaneously that Warsaw, Berlin and Stockholm would each deport the Russian diplomat they had sent to their country.
“The government’s response to the February 5 decision of the Russian Federation (German) on this measure” is only an attempt to “learn through legal means on the evolution of conditions on Earth” to deport the German diplomat, the German Foreign Ministry underlined in a press release.
The Swedish government “informed the Russian ambassador that someone from the embassy had to leave Sweden.” This is a clear response to the unacceptable decision to expel a Swedish diplomat who is only performing his duties, “said Minister Anne Linde on Twitter.
“In response to the unjust expulsion of the Polish diplomat, the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in coordination with Germany and Sweden today decided to recognize the Russian Consulate General employee in Poznan (West, editor’s note) as an impersonal person.”
Russia on Friday announced it would expel European diplomats for participating in demonstrations in support of Alexei Navalny, who is serving a prison sentence.
Russian officials said the presence of diplomats at “illegal” meetings in support of Mr Navalny in St. Petersburg and Moscow on January 23 was “unacceptable and not contrary to their status”.
The “unjust” deportation of diplomats shows the added dimension of “what is happening in Russia right now and has little to do with the rule of law,” instead German Chancellor Angela Merkel Lambast.