Russia expels diplomats from Belgium and the Netherlands – POLITICO

Russia has expelled diplomats from the Netherlands and Belgium, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The envoys were summoned to the ministry and asked to leave Russia within two weeks. Fifteen Dutch diplomats were declared unwanted person while 12 Belgian diplomats were expelled, the Belgian foreign ministry confirmed to POLITICO.

The expulsion affects two-thirds of Belgian diplomatic personnel in Russia. However, the Belgian Embassy is still operational, but with limited capacity. A spokesman for Belgium’s Foreign Ministry said Belgian diplomats have always respected their diplomatic duties in relation to the Vienna Convention, unlike the Russian diplomats who were expelled from the country last month. In a statement, the State Department said it “regrets” the decision, which further isolates Russia diplomatically.

The Luxembourg ambassador to Russia was also summoned to the Foreign Ministry a few weeks ago following the expulsion of a Russian diplomat by the Grand Duchy. A Luxembourg diplomatic officer has been declared unwanted person but has not yet been reported.

Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in a press release that The Hague regretted the Russian move, but added that he expected such a move.

Earlier this month Moscow also expelled diplomats from the EU mission in Russia.

The moves from Moscow are in retaliation after a coordinated expulsion of Russian officials by EU states in late March. Russia expels diplomats from Belgium and the Netherlands – POLITICO

Fry Electronics Team

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