Russia expels 45 Polish diplomats in retaliation

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced its decision to expel 45 Polish diplomats in response to the expulsion of the same number of Russian diplomats from Poland last month.

In a statement on Friday night, the Ministry said it had summoned the Polish Ambassador and declared 45 employees of Poland’s Embassy in Moscow and of Polish consulates in Irkutsk, Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg “personae non gratae” who must leave Russia by April 13, reports Xinhua news agency.

On March 23, the Polish Foreign Ministry ordered 45 Russian diplomats to depart within five days as part of a coordinated action by Western countries to expel several hundreds diplomats in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Kiev.

Also on Friday, Russia announced the expulsion of two Bulgarian diplomats in a retaliatory step after the Foreign Ministry in Sofia declared one Russian diplomat persona non grata and gave him 72 hours to leave the country.

Finland has also announced it is expelling two Russian diplomats and discontinuing the visa of one other.

Several other European Union countries have already taken similar measures this week.

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