Moscow, in its recent move, has announced about expelling of 40 German diplomats in reaction to the “unfriendly decision” by Berlin to kick out Russian diplomats over the conflict in Ukraine.
In a statement on Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said that it called Germany’s ambassador in Moscow and handed him a note “declaring persona non grata 40 employees of German diplomatic institutions in Russia as part of asymmetrical response”.
The ministry added, “A strong protest was made to the head of the German diplomatic mission in Moscow in connection with the openly unfriendly decision of the German government to expel Russian diplomats.”
Overall, 100 Germans are likely to be affected by the ministry’s decision, with the diplomats’ relatives also forced to leave the nation.
In a statement, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that, “The move was expected but was in no way justified.”
She added the 40 Russian diplomats previously expelled by Berlin did not serve diplomacy for a single day, while those expelled by Russia had not done anything wrong.
Earlier in April, Germany said it was expelling a significant number of Russian diplomats amid similar moves by other European states, over Ukraine.
Baerbock, at the same time, said the decision was in response to the “unbelievable brutality” of forces from Russia as it invaded its pro-Western neighbour, Ukraine.