Russia is expelling more than 20 German diplomats: RIA

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Russia said on Saturday it was expelling a number of German diplomats in a tit-for-tat move, although Germany did not immediately confirm any expulsions of its own.

Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency said, without citing a source, that Germany was expelling more than 20 Russian diplomats.

A German foreign ministry official said Berlin and Moscow had been in contact about their respective representations in the last few weeks, and that the arrival of a Russian government airplane in Berlin was connected to the issue.

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Relations between Russia and Germany, which used to be the biggest buyer of Russian oil and gas, have fallen apart since Moscow sent its armed forces into Ukraine in February 2022 and the West responded with sanctions and with weapons for Ukraine.

“The German authorities have decided on another mass expulsion of employees of Russian diplomatic missions in Germany,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We strongly condemn these actions by Berlin, which continues to demonstratively destroy the entire array of Russian-German relations.”

It did not disclose the number of diplomats involved, but said its own expulsions were “reciprocal,” and that it would significantly limit the maximum number of staff at Germandiplomatic missions.

It said Germany’s ambassador had been told of the moves at talks on April 5.

The German foreign ministry said it had taken note of the Russian statement.

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