The Kremlin announced it is sending home at least 30 diplomats from three European countries after similar measures were also taken against Russia’s envoys.
Netherland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the plans to expel 15 staff members of the Dutch embassy in Moscow and the consulate-general in St. Petersburg.
In a statement released by the ministry, it said that this developed after the Dutch ambassador in Moscow was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry on Tuesday.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra said the Russian government’s move was expected.
“Nevertheless, this is a regrettable step. We are going to study the situation and determine what the departure of so many staff from Moscow and St Petersburg will mean,” Hoekstra said.
On April 19, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that it had also branded 21 Belgian diplomats “personae non-gratae,” giving them two weeks to depart the country.
Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirmed the expulsion of their diplomats.
“The expulsion of Austrian embassy staff from Russia comes as no surprise. We regret this unjustified decision by Russia, which has no factual basis whatsoever,” Austria’s foreign ministry said in a tweet.
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