Russia expels 45 Polish diplomats

“The ambassador was told that we regard this step as confirmation of Warsaw’s conscious desire to completely destroy bilateral relations,” the ministry said.

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Moscow is expelling 45 Polish diplomats, Russia’s foreign ministry said Friday, in a tit-for-tat move after Warsaw last month expelled the same number of Russian diplomats for espionage.

The ministry said it summoned the Polish ambassador in Moscow to “strongly protest against the unjustified” expulsion of Russian diplomats from Poland on March 23.

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“The ambassador was told that we regard this step as confirmation of Warsaw’s conscious desire to completely destroy bilateral relations,” the ministry added.

“The blame for that lies wholly with the Polish side.”

The ministry declared as “persona non grata” 45 employees of the Polish embassy in Russia and of Polish consulates in the cities of Irkutsk, Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg “as a response to Poland’s unfriendly actions.”

The expelled diplomats must leave Russia by April 13.

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