Russia expels 18 EU diplomats from Moscow

TEHRAN, Apr. 16 (MNA) – Russia on Friday expelled 18 European Union diplomats in retaliation for Brussels' decision to declare 19 Russians personae non-gratae earlier this month.

"Eighteen employees of the EU delegation to Russia have been declared 'personae non-gratae' and will have to leave the territory of the Russian Federation in the near future," the ministry statement on April 15 said, according to RFERL. 

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the EU ambassador to Russia, Markus Ederer, and informed him of the retaliatory measures.

"The Russian side declared that the EU is responsible for the consistent destruction of the architecture of bilateral dialogue and cooperation that had taken decades to form," the ministry said.

The EU diplomats must leave Russia as soon as possible, the ministry added.

The EU on April 5 declared the 19 Russian diplomats personae non-gratae for "engaging in activities contrary to their diplomatic status" and ordered them to leave host nation Belgium.

Western nations have expelled dozens of Russian diplomats over Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine, and Russia has said that it will respond to all such expulsions.

MP/PR

News Code 185749

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