ROME, April 5. /TASS/. Russia's ambassador to Italy Sergey Razov was summoned to the Italian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday where he was informed of the expulsion of 30 Russian diplomats, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on the air of the RAI-News-24 TV channel.
"Russian Ambassador Sergey Razov was summoned to the Foreign Ministry this morning," the minister said, "He was notified of the decision to expel 30 Russian diplomats. This measure, taken in consultation with other European and Atlantic partners, became necessary for reasons related to our national security in the context of the current crisis situation."
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told TASS that Russia would give an appropriate response to the expulsion of its diplomats from Italy.
Earlier, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported on the intention of the Italian authorities to expel several dozen Russian diplomats. According to the newspaper, on Monday Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi discussed this decision with Franco Gabrielli, the state undersecretary for security.
A day earlier, the Russian ambassador to Berlin had been summoned to the German Foreign Ministry, where he was notified that 40 employees of Russian diplomatic and consular missions had been expelled. On Monday evening, the French Foreign Ministry also announced its intention to expel a group of diplomats. According to the French media, the ministry plans to expel 35 employees of the Russian Embassy.
On March 29, a number of European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland, announced that they were expelling Russian diplomats amid the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. In particular, 21 Russian diplomats are being expelled from Belgium, 17 - from the Netherlands and 4 from Ireland. Earlier, a number of other EU states, including Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, also expelled Russian diplomats.