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4 EU countries expel Russian diplomats; Moscow says will respond in kind

Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has also announced the expulsion of 30 Russian diplomats.

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Rome: Denmark, Spain, Sweden and Italy on Tuesday expelled a number of Russian diplomats from their countries. The Foreign Ministry of Denmark decided to expel 15 Russian diplomats from the country.

“Denmark will expel 15 Russian intelligence officers working at the Russian embassy in Copenhagen. They pose a threat to our national security. It’s in our mutual interests to maintain diplomatic ties, but we will not accept Russian espionage on Danish soil,” Jeppe Kofod, Minister of Foreign Affairs tweeted.

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Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has also announced the expulsion of 30 Russian diplomats.

“This measure, taken by agreement with other European and Atlantic partners, was necessary for reasons related to our national security amid the current crisis resulting from Russia’s unreasonable aggression against Ukraine,” Di Maio said, as quoted by the Nova news agency.

Di Maio added that Italian Foreign Ministry Secretary General Ettore Sequi informed Razov of the expulsion of the diplomats, declaring them personae non gratae by Italy.

Citing Foreign Minister Ann Linde, Radio Sweden reported that Sweden also expelled three Russian Embassy’s employees in Stockholm. Linde said that they did not work in accordance with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, the broadcaster noted. Spain also announced to expel some 25 Russian diplomats, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Tuesday.

“We announce that today, we have decided to expel Russian diplomats and the staff of the Russian Embassy in Spain from Spain … We are going to expel about 25 people,” the minister told reporters.

In response to the latest announcements, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik that Russia will respond to the expulsion of its diplomats. On February 24, Russia had launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

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