WARSAW, March 23. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreyev received a diplomatic note from Polish Foreign Ministry on expulsion of 45 Russian diplomats.
"I’ve received a note from the [Polish] Foreign Ministry on expulsion of 45 our employees - embassy, trade mission - due to activities that do not comply with the Vienna Convention," he told reporters after his visit to the Foreign Ministry Wednesday.
According to Andreyev, "there are no grounds for this" decision.
"Our employees have been doing a normal diplomatic and trade work," the envoy said. "There are no grounds for such accusations."
The ambassador himself is not on the list of expelled diplomats.
"I have not been declared a persona non grata. I stay," Andreyev said, underscoring that diplomatic ties between the two countries remain.
"Formally, they [relations] exist. They have not been severed. There are embassies, there are ambassadors," he noted.
The envoy also stated that Russia is "entitled to make its own decisions on reciprocal steps." According to Andreyev, "they [steps] will definitely follow […] under the principle of reciprocity. When asked whether Polish diplomats will be expelled from Russia, the envoy said "of course."
According to the ambassador, the expelled diplomats must leave the country in different time spans, the maximum being five days. He assured that the Russian embassy will continue to operate, and expelled diplomats will not be replaced by new employees. The Foreign Ministry of Poland told the Russian envoy that "there are no grounds for such large number of employees."
"Apparently, the Polish side will not agree to a replacement," he noted.