Russia expels European diplomats . Germany threatens and Sweden refuses

Russia announced, Friday, that diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden are persona non grata on its soil, accusing them of participating in Demonstration in support of the imprisoned exhibitions Alexey Navalny. This came after the European Union confirmed that relations with Russia were “at their lowest levels” as a result of the poisoning and imprisonment of Navalny.

Moscow accuses these diplomats, whose number has not been specified, of participating in “illegal January 23” rallies in St. Petersburg and Moscow, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also considered that “these actions are unacceptable and do not correspond to their diplomatic status,” adding that “the Russian side expects that the diplomatic missions of the Kingdom of Sweden, the Republic of Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany and their employees will strictly respect the standards of international law in the future.”

It is noteworthy that after hours of talks between Boyle and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia requested the departure of three diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden. Borrell condemned the decision “strongly” and “rejected Russia’s claims” about its reasons.

“It will not pass without a response.”

For its part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel considered, on Friday, in a press conference, that Moscow expelled European diplomats on the grounds of The Navalny Affair An “unjustified” move.

To that, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned in a statement, that “unless Russia considers this measure, it will not pass without a response.”

‘Absolutely baseless’

Sweden, in turn, considered that Moscow’s decision to expel one of its diplomats was “totally unfounded”, rejecting Russian accusations that he was “participating” in A rally in support of Navalny.

A spokeswoman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed to France Press that the Swedish diplomat was at that demonstration as an “observer” within the framework of his diplomatic duties, and did not actively participate in the demonstration, adding: “It is a natural part of his basic duties as a diplomat, monitoring political events in the host country.”

The Swedish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement: “The ministry considers that this is totally unfounded, and reserves the right to respond proportionately.”

For its part, Warsaw warned of the damage the resolution would inflict on relations with Russia.