European Union, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Latvia and Estonia expelled large numbers of Russian diplomats on Tuesday amid growing outrage over the Ukraine conflict.bringing to nearly 200 the number of returns to Russia by EU allies in 48 hours.
After Monday’s evictions by Germany Yes France, Sweden, Denmark Yes Estonia also did the same on Tuesday, while the The European Union has declared a group of Russian officials persona non grata collaboration with EU institutions.
The EU decision was adopted by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, who had put it forward this afternoon, without however specifying the number of people concerned, during a joint appearance with the President of the European Union. Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, to announce a fifth package of sanctions against Russia for the development of the war in Ukraine.
The European Union acts “in response to the illegal and disruptive actions” of the designated members of the Russian mission against the interests and security of the EU and its member states” and that they violate the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, informed the European Commission’s main foreign affairs spokesman, Peter Stano.
The expulsions were due to allegations of espionage or “national security reasons”, but they follow international condemnation of the murders in the city of Buchanear kyiv, where dozens of bodies were discovered after Russian troops withdrew.
Moscow has dismissed Western accusations that its forces were responsible.suggesting that the images are fake or that the deaths occurred after they were removed.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskovtold reporters on Tuesday that the mass expulsions of its diplomats were “a short-sighted decision”.
“Reducing opportunities for diplomatic communication in a crisis environment of unprecedented difficulty is a short-sighted decision that will further complicate our communication, which is necessary to find a solution”mentioned.
“And that will inevitably lead to retaliatory measures“, he added.
Italy says it will fire 30 Russian diplomats for ‘national security’ reasonsin a coordinated action with its European and American allies.
Later the Prime Minister Mario Draghi called for independent investigations into the killing of civilians in Ukraine which “It shakes our soul deeply.”
“War crimes must be punished. The (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin, the authorities, the Russian army will have to answer for their actions“, mentioned.
The Slovenian government later said that 33 Russian diplomats were expelled. and the ambassador called to express the “country’s shock at the killing of Ukrainian civilians”.
Estoniawhich shares a border with Russia, said that expelled 14 Russian consular staff, including seven employees with diplomatic status.
The Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albaresexpressed in Madrid the indignation of his country for “the unbearable images we saw of the massacre of civilians in the town of Bucha”.
And the government said would immediately expel some 25 diplomats and the staff of the Russian Embassy who “They represent a threat to the interests of the country.”
keep the dialogue open
The Russian Ambassador to Spain will remain however to keep the dialogue open, “Because we don’t lose hope that Putin’s war will endsaid Albares.
Denmark will also keep the Russian ambassador for the same reasonswhile expels 15 “intelligence officers” accused of spyingsays the government.
Condemned what he called “Russian brutality” in Buchasaying, “Deliberate attacks on civilians are a war crime.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of SwedenAnn Linde told reporters that expelled three Russian diplomats who “carried out illegal intelligence operations in Sweden”.
Monday, France expelled 35 Russian diplomatsGerman officials said that Berlin will return 40 of them and Lithuania will expel the Russian ambassador.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyurged the world to impose tough new sanctions on Moscow for the Bucha killings, which he called “war crimes” and “genocide”.
(With information from AFP)