Russia was forced to expel three European diplomats -
Photo: Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia was “simply forced” to expel three European diplomats from the country, TASS reported. Earlier, employees of the general consulates of Sweden and Poland in St. Petersburg and the German embassy in Moscow were expelled from the country.

“Unfortunately, we were forced to take measures that we were simply forced to take – the expulsion of diplomats from three European countries, the EU countries who participated directly in the events that were not sanctioned,” Zakharova said on the TV program Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov. …

On Friday, it became known that three European diplomats were declared persona non grata due to their participation in unauthorized protests on 23 January. Representatives of the embassies of Germany, Poland, and Sweden were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where they were protesting.

Earlier the expulsion of diplomats was condemned in the United States. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called Russia’s decision “voluntaristic” and “unjustified,” and expressed solidarity with Poland, Germany, and Sweden.

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