Russia has declared 34 French diplomats “persona non grata” in the country in response to a decision by France to expel 41 Russian diplomats in April, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
The French ambassador to Moscow, Pierre Lévy, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, and “strong protests were expressed about the provocative and unjustified decision” of the French authorities to declare 41 Russian diplomats in France ” persona non grata,” the ministry said. .
“It has been pointed out that this act inflicts serious damage on Russian-French relations and constructive bilateral cooperation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“In response, 34 French diplomats were declared ‘persona non grata’,” the ministry added. “They were ordered to leave the territory of Russia within two weeks from the date of delivery of the relevant note to the ambassador.”
France issued a statement and said it “strongly condemns” the decision.
“The work of these diplomats and the staff of our embassy in Russia, whose courage and great professionalism France salutes, falls fully within the framework of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations. The decision of the Russian authorities has no legitimate basis. We can only condemn him.
Similarly, Russia also deported 27 Spanish diplomats to Russia in response to a decision by Spain to expel 27 Russian diplomats from the country in April, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry expelled employees of numerous embassies in similar retaliatory measures. Some of the most recent countries that received a similar response from Moscow include Finland, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Denmark and Norway, among others.