BERLIN, May 1. /TASS/. Part of German diplomatic missions’ employees left Russia on Monday, the German Foreign Ministry reported without specifying their number.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the Zvezda TV channel in late April that more than 20 German diplomats would be expelled from Russia as a tit-for-tat measure in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Germany.
"The German government held contacts with the Russian side over the past several weeks for reducing the presence of Russian special services in Germany," the report said. As a result, some Russian diplomatic missions’ employees left Germany in the middle of the month. "Their activities were not compliant with the diplomatic status," the German side’s press service said.
"In turn, the Russian government asked a similar number of German missions’ employees to leave the country. They left Russia today, on May 1," the ministry said, adding that those employees’ activities "were compliant with their diplomatic status."
The German newspaper Bild wrote earlier citing sources that 34 of about 90 German diplomats working in Russia had to leave the country.