As a response, Russia declared 27 employees of the Spanish embassy and consulate general persona non grata. Earlier today, the Foreign Ministry decided to expel 58 French and Italian diplomats
The building of the Spanish Embassy in Moscow
The Russian authorities have declared 27 employees of the Spanish Embassy in Moscow and the Spanish Consulate General in St. Petersburg persona non grata, the Foreign Ministry reports. They will have to leave Russia within seven days.
This was a response to the expulsion of 27 Russian diplomats from Spain. Earlier Wednesday, Spanish Ambassador to Moscow Marcos Gomez Martinez was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and protested. “It is emphasized that this unfriendly step will have a negative impact on Russian-Spanish relations,” — added in the ministry.
Madrid decided to expel the Russian diplomatic mission in early April, the authorities explained this by the fact that the diplomats “pose a threat to the interests and security” Spain. According to Russian Ambassador Yuri Korchagin, he was told that the activities of the embassy employees being expelled were “not compatible with diplomatic work.” According to the Ambassador, no explanation or evidence was provided to him.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albarez said in early May that Korchagin had “almost no” contact with the department. At the same time, he stressed that Madrid does not intend to expel the ambassador. The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that Moscow regards this remark as “an unethical attempt to put pressure on the head of the Russian diplomatic mission.”
Earlier on May 18, Russia declared 24 Italian diplomats and 34 members of the French diplomatic mission persona non grata. This step was also a response to the actions of Rome and Paris.
After the start of the military operation in Ukraine, many European countries declared employees of Russian diplomatic missions persona non grata, including Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and others.
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