Russia accuses Poland of ‘dangerous escalation’ in the region

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Russia’s foreign ministry on Thursday accused NATO member Poland, which neighbors Ukraine, of escalating the situation in eastern Europe after it expelled 45 Russian diplomats over alleged espionage.

“Warsaw has embarked on a dangerous escalation in the region, proceeding not from national interests, but within the framework of NATO guidelines, which are based on outright Russophobia elevated to the rank of official policy,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We see this and will take it into account in our practical steps towards Poland,” it added.

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It said the expulsion of Russian diplomats announced a day earlier was a “conscious step” by Poland “toward the final destruction of bilateral ties.”

“All responsibility for what is happening and for the possible consequences lies entirely with the current authorities in Warsaw,” the ministry said.

It warned that Moscow “will not leave this hostile attack without a response.”

Poland said Wednesday it had expelled 45 “Russian spies pretending to be diplomats,” an allegation immediately dismissed as baseless by Russia’s ambassador to Warsaw.

Also on Wednesday, Poland’s counter-espionage service ABW announced it had detained a Polish national suspected of espionage for Russia’s secret services.

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