Germany, Sweden and Poland Expel Russian Diplomats in Retaliatory Transfer

Germany, Sweden and Poland Expel Russian Diplomats in Retaliatory Transfer

BERLIN — Germany, Poland and Sweden introduced the expulsion of Russian diplomats from their nations on Monday in retaliation for the recent ejection by the Kremlin of envoys from the three European Union nations final week, heightening tensions between the bloc and Moscow after the jailing of the opposition chief Aleksei A. Navalny.

In a coordinated sequence of bulletins, the three nations all introduced the transfer Monday afternoon.

Germany declared a Russian diplomat not welcome, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin said. “With this step, the German authorities is reacting to a choice by the Russian Federation from Friday,” the ministry mentioned, repeating its place that the Russian transfer “was by no means justified.”

Ann Linde, Sweden’s overseas minister, wrote in a post on Twitter, “We’ve got knowledgeable the Russian ambassador that an individual from the Russian Embassy is requested to depart Sweden.”

“It is a clear response to the unacceptable choice to expel a Swedish diplomat who was solely preforming his duties,” she added.

And the Polish Ministry of Overseas Affairs mentioned in a similar post, “in response to the unjustified expulsion of the Polish diplomat” by Russia, that it had made the choice, “in accordance with the precept of reciprocity” and in coordination with Germany and Sweden, to “acknowledge an worker of the Consulate Normal in Poznan as persona non grata.”

The coordinated transfer got here after the Kremlin on Friday pushed out diplomats from the three nations whereas the European Union’s overseas coverage chief, Josep Borrell Fontelles, was visiting Moscow, saying that the three envoys had attended unauthorized pro-Navalny rallies on Jan. 23.

Mr. Borrell Fontelles, after getting back from what he referred to as a “very difficult” go to to Moscow, said in a statement that he had visited to “take a look at, by principled diplomacy, whether or not the Russian authorities was desirous about addressing variations and reversing the detrimental development in our relationships.” He added, “The response I obtained factors visibly in a distinct route.”

Mr. Navalny was sentenced final week to two years and eight months in prison for violating his parole, a conviction that Europe’s high human rights court docket later dominated was politically motivated.

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