Russia expels diplomats from Netherlands, Belgium, Austria

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Russia has declared 15 diplomats from Netherlands, an unspecified number of diplomats from Belgium, and four diplomats from Austria “personae non gratae” in a tit-for-tat response, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ambassadors of the three countries were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday in protest over their decisions to declare dozens of Russian diplomats working in these countries “personae non gratae,” the ministry said in separate statements.

The Dutch diplomats will need to leave Russia within two weeks, the Belgian diplomats were ordered to leave before the end of the day on May 3, while the Austrian diplomats must leave Russia before April 24 end, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ministry also summoned the ambassador of Luxembourg, saying Moscow “reserves the right to retaliate” for Luxembourg’s expulsion of an employee at the Russian Embassy.

Media reports cited the Belgian Foreign Ministry as saying that 12 Belgian diplomats were ordered to leave Russia.

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