MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. Two employees of the German Embassy in Moscow must leave Russia within the next seven days and a note to this effect has been handed to German Ambassador Geza Andreas von Geyr, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday.
"A strong protest has been lodged with the head of the German diplomatic mission over the German government’s ungrounded decision of December 4, 2019, to declare two staff members of the Russian Embassy in Berlin personae non gratae," the ministry said.
"In view of that, guided by the reciprocity principle and Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, Russia decided to declare two staff members of the German Embassy in Russia personae non gratae as a countermeasure. They must leave the country within the next seven days. A corresponding note has been handed to the German ambassador," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
On December 4, the German Foreign Ministry declared two Russian Embassy employees personae non gratae in the wake of a Georgian citizen’s murder in Berlin on August 23. A Russian national is allegedly a suspect in the case. Berlin says the decision was due to Russia’s insufficient cooperation with the investigation.
According to German prosecutors, there are reasons to believe that Russia’s state agencies or the authorities of Chechnya, which is part of Russia, were involved in the murder.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier dismissed these suspicions as utterly groundless, when asked whether Russia could have had something to do with the incident.