MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Russia expels an employee of the Georgian Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow in response to Georgia’s decision to expel an employee of the Russian Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi over the Skripals’ case, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Friday.
"In response to Georgia’s unfounded decision to expel an employee of the Russian Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi over the UK’s allegations against our country over the so-called Skripal case, the Russian side declared an employee of the Georgian Interests Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow as inadmissible," the ministry noted. "He has to leave Russia’s territory within seven days."
The corresponding note was handed on April 13 to Swiss Charge d’Affaires ad interim in Russia Patrick Franzen.
In late March 2018 Georgia joined a group of countries that declared the expulsion of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of former colonel of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK. The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Tbilisi would expel one Russian diplomat from the country - an employee of the Russian Interests Section and demanded from him to leave the country’s territory in a seven-day term. The corresponding note was sent to the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi where the specified section is located. Bern affirmed that this move would not affect Switzerland’s mandate, which represents the interests of both countries in their capitals on a mutual basis.
On September 2, 2008, Georgia declared a break of diplomatic relations with Moscow "over Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region." The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported then that it would ‘maintain consular relations with Russia." The Russian Interests Section has been operating in Tbilisi at the Embassy of Switzerland since March 2009, in which Russian diplomatic and technical staff is working, and the Georgian Interests Section is operating in Moscow at the Embassy of Switzerland, where Georgian diplomatic and technical staff is working.