MOSCOW, April 2./TASS/. A note of protest has been handed over to Ambassador of Montenegro to the Russian Federation Ramiz Basic and he was told an embassy employee is expelled from Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
It said the ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on April 2. "A note of protest was handed over to him and he was told that in response to unfounded demands from Montenegro to expel a Russian diplomat on the basis of UK’s unproved accusations against Russia over the so-called Skripal case, the Russian side declares a staff member of the Embassy of Montenegro persona non grata," it said.
On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.
However, without presenting any evidence, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, 23 British diplomats were expelled from Russia, the British consulate general in the city of St. Petersburg was closed and the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia.
On March 26, in the wake of the Skripal incident, a number of EU member countries, the United States, Canada and Australia announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats. Montenegro was among them, expelling one employee of the Russian Embassy to Montenegro.