Russia expels 27 Spanish diplomats

Russia will expel 27 Spanish diplomats and staff from the Spanish Embassy in Moscow and the Consulate General in St. Petersburg, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. The decision, as the Spanish Government already feared, is in response to the expulsion of the same number of employees from the Russian legation in Spain announced last April by the Executive of Pedro Sanchez. The measure was transferred to the Spanish ambassador, Mark Gomez Martinez, quoted this noon in the ministry. This same Wednesday, Moscow has also decided to expel 34 French and 24 Italian diplomats.

The Spanish diplomats, declared “persona non grata“, they will have to leave Russia within seven days. “On the Russian side, a strong protest was presented to him in relation to the provocative announcement made by Madrid to declare 27 employees of the Russian representations in Spain persona non grata,” the department headed by Sergey Lavrov said in a statement, in which He also stressed that Madrid’s “unfriendly step” “will reflect negatively on Russian-Spanish relations.”

Last April 5, the Spanish government agreed to expel 27 diplomats and staff from the Russian embassy in Spain considering that they represented “a threat to the security of our country” and as a sign of rejection of the actions of the Russian troops in Ukraine.

“symmetrical” decision

Since then, a diplomatic response from Russia has been expected. The Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albaresstated that he expected Moscow to take a “symmetrical” decision to the one adopted by Spain in April and that expel Spanish diplomatic personnel, but not the ambassador, as it has ended up happening.

“I already said when we announced the expulsion of the 27 Russian diplomats and staff that in these situations there was a symmetrical or almost symmetrical reciprocity, and we were waiting for it,” said Albares.

France and Italy

The Paris government “strongly” condemned the expulsion of 34 French diplomats and considered that it was not based on “no legitimate basis“This decision is presented by the Russian side as a response to France’s decisions” in April, when “several dozen Russian agents” suspected of being spies were expelled, the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On the other hand, the note adds, “the work of the diplomats and staff of our embassy in Russia is fully inscribed within the framework of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations“.

Italy described as “hostile act“Moscow’s move against 24 members of its staff at the embassy and consulate, but the head of the government, mario draghi, stressed that “breaking diplomatic relations” should be avoided. “We must not reach a break (…) because if we achieve peacewe will achieve it through those diplomatic channels,” Draghi added during a press conference.

Related news

The Russian offensive in Ukraine, which began on February 24, has provoked a wave of international condemnation and a barrage of sanctions, accompanied by the expulsion of hundreds of Russian diplomats by Western countries.

Moscow has retaliated by expelling diplomats from the countries in question from its territory.

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