KIEV, April 21. /TASS/. Ukrainian consul in St. Petersburg Alexander Sosonyuk who was detained on suspicion of spying against Russia and was later declared persona non grata left Russia Wednesday, spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Oleg Nikolenko told Ukrinform news agency.
"Our consul left Russia today," the agency quoted him as saying.
Kiev’s move came as retaliation after the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on April 17 its decision to expel Ukrainian consul in St. Petersburg Alexander Sosonyuk who was a day earlier detained by the Russian FSB for obtaining confidential information from FSB and law enforcement databases. The Russian side underlined, "such activities are unacceptable, incompatible with the status of consular employee and are affecting security interests of Russia." In light of this, Sosonyuk was recommended to leave the country within 72 hours starting with April 19.
In response, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced on April 17 that it was expelling senior diplomat of the Russian Embassy in Kiev Yevgeny Chernikov. He has already left Ukraine, the Russian diplomatic mission told TASS Wednesday.