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Russia announces "tit-for-tat" expulsion of more than 20 German diplomats

Moscow accused Berlin of "continuing to demonstratively destroy the entire range of Russia-Germany relations"

Maria Zakharova

Maria Zakharova

ANI Asia

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Russia has announced "tit-for-tat" expulsion of more than 20 German diplomats following the "mass" removal of Russian embassy staff from Germany and accused Berlin of destroying ties, Al Jazeera reported citing Russian state media.
Russian Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told state-run television Zvezda on Saturday that "more than 20" German diplomats would have to leave. Her statement came shortly after the ministry denounced "another mass expulsion of employees of Russian diplomatic missions in Germany", Al Jazeera reported.
The German foreign ministry said it took note of the Russian statements.
Moscow accused Berlin of "continuing to demonstratively destroy the entire range of Russia-Germany relations".
"As a response to Berlin's hostile actions, the Russian side has decided to mirror the decision and expel German diplomats from Russia," the foreign ministry said.
Moscow will also limit the maximum number of employees in German diplomatic missions in the country, and it said Germany's ambassador Geza Andreas von Geyr was notified of the measures on April 5.
Germany had for years maintained deep economic ties with Moscow, particularly in the energy sector where it is dependent on Russian gas, Al Jazeera reported.
Relations soured since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation in Ukraine, and Berlin increased its financial and military support to Kyiv, Al Jazeera reported.
The German security service also raised the level of alert regarding Russian espionage which it said had reached unprecedented levels after what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine.
It said Russia was targeting German companies and strategic infrastructure, especially energy, rail and road.
Early last year, Germany expelled 40 Russian diplomats who it said represented a security threat, Al Jazeera reported.
In October, Germany's cybersecurity chief, Arne Schoenbohm, was sacked after allegations that he had ties to Russian intelligence services.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Topics : Russia

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First Published: Apr 23 2023 | 7:33 AM IST

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