Russia Expels Over 20 Italian Diplomats

Russia will expel 24 Italian diplomats from the country as a retaliatory measure to Italy’s actions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said on May 18, 2022. Earlier, on May 17, it became known that the Italian Ambassador to Moscow, Giorgio Starace, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. 

Picture: TASS

On May 17, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Western countries was rudeness and “frenzy”. Earlier, on May 14, he pointed out that there was no such synchronous and mass expulsion of diplomats even during the Cold War.

On May 9, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Grushko, noted that it was not Russia who started a diplomatic war and a campaign to expel diplomats from the country. He also said that Russia has no plans to close the embassies of European countries in response to possible unfriendly steps, as Moscow believes that the work of diplomatic missions remains important.

It is reminded that Italy announced the expulsion of 30 Russian diplomats on April 5, 2022. The country’s Foreign Ministry then noted that employees of the Russian diplomatic mission were being expelled for reasons of “national security”.

Italy was not the first country from which Russian diplomats were expelled. In recent months, Russia has faced the expulsion of its diplomats from Poland, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Bulgaria, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Greece and other countries.

Ru-Main, 18.05.2022
Source: Izvestia 

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