Denmark, Italy expel Russian diplomats; Moscow to retaliate

TEHRAN, Apr. 05 (MNA) – Denmark has ordered the expulsion of 15 Russian diplomats in the country and Italy has expelled 30 Russian envoys for national security reasons.

Denmark’s government has made a decision on expelling 15 Russian diplomats, the country's Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod announced on Tuesday.

"The government is expelling from Denmark 15 Russian intelligence agents, they must leave the country within the next 14 days," he said, TASS reported. 

"This is a historic step, which we are taking here from the Danish side. But we are also doing this jointly with a large number of European countries because we want to ensure our security."

Denmark’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Russian ambassador has been informed about this decision.

According to the statement, Denmark is not seeking to sever diplomatic relations with Moscow, hence the ambassador and some other staff won’t be expelled.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told TASS on Tuesday that Moscow will take retaliatory measures against the staff of Denmark’s foreign offices following the expulsion of Russian diplomats. "Corresponding measures will be taken against the staffers of that country’s foreign offices," she said.

Russian envoy summoned to Italian Foreign Ministry over expulsion of 30 diplomats

The news comes as the Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday Italy has expelled 30 Russian diplomats because of security concerns.

Italy summoned Russia's ambassador to the foreign ministry on Tuesday to tell him that the diplomats were being expelled.

Russia will give an appropriate response, TASS news agency quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying. 

Sweden expels 3 Russian diplomats: FM 

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde said that the Scandinavian country is expelling three Russian diplomats.

On Monday, France and Germany announced that they were expelling dozens of Russians with diplomatic status.

Moscow reserves right to respond to expulsion of Russian diplomats from France

Paris previously announced it would expel a number of Russian diplomats from the country citing a "security threat" they allegedly pose - according to BFM TV, at least 35 diplomats are on the list.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday that Moscow reserves the right to retaliate after France expelled Russian diplomats from the country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko stressed the expulsion campaign in Europe was planned in advance, and that it will lead to long-term deterioration of diplomatic relations.

The Russian embassy in France also previously slammed the decision of the French government.

ZZ/PR

News Code 185373

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