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German foreign ministry decides to expel 40 Russian embassy employees

According to the German foreign ministry, Berlin will further toughen the anti-Russian sanctions
German Foreign Ministry ARK NEYMAN/Shutterstock/FOTODOM
German Foreign Ministry

BERLIN, April 4. /TASS/. Germany’s foreign ministry has announced its decision to expel "a considerable number" of employees of the Russian embassy in Berlin.

According to the Focus Online portal, the decision applies to 40 embassy employees.

"The federal government has decided to declare a considerable number of Russian embassy employees personae non grata as they have been working against our freedom and against the consolidation of society day after day," the German foreign ministry said on Monday, adding that the Russian ambassador has been notified about this decision.

"We will further toughen the anti-Russian sanctions, will expand our support to the Ukrainian armed forces and will reinforce NATO’s eastern flank," it said.

The Bild newspaper reported earlier that Germany was planning to expel Russian diplomats, who were allegedly working for Russia’s intelligence services. According to its sources, up to 100 people could be expelled from Germany. It alleged earlier that more than 2,000 people were working for Russia’s intelligence agencies.

These statements came after several European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, and Ireland said on March 29 that they were expelling Russian diplomats amid Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Thus, Belgium expelled 21 Russian diplomats, the Netherlands - 17 diplomats, and Ireland - four diplomats.

Several more EU countries, including Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, also demanded Russian diplomats leave their countries.