MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. As many as 574 Russian diplomats have been expelled from Western countries and some of the US Pacific allies since February 24, 2022 under various pretexts, both those linked with the situation in Ukraine and on accusations of conducting activities incompatible with the status of diplomats, according to TASS calculations.
This is the biggest expulsion ever. In 2018, only 123 Russian diplomats were declared personae non grata over the Skripal poisoning incident. The largest one-time expulsion of Russian diplomats took place in June 2022 when 70 diplomats were expelled from Bulgaria.
Bulgaria has expelled the largest number of Russian diplomats - 83. Forty-five diplomats were expelled from Poland, 40 - from Germany, 35 - from Slovakia, also 35 - from France, 33 - from Slovenia, 30 - from Italy, 28 - from the United States. In all, 29 European countries, as well as the United States, and Japan took unfriendly steps against Russian diplomats. Apart from that, nineteen Russian employees were expelled from the Russian mission to the European Union.
Since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, the diplomatic representation level has been downgraded by Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. On January 23, 2023, Latvia decided to further downgrade diplomatic relations to the level of charge d’affaires.
Russian consulates were closed in Bulgaria (Rusa), Latvia (Liepaja and Daugavpils), Lithuania (Klaipeda), and Estonia (Narva n Tarty).
Diplomatic relations with Ukraine were severed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on February 24, 2022.