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Moscow Expels Five Polish Diplomats After Russians Expelled By Warsaw


The Polish flag flies by Warsaw's embassy in Moscow. (file photo)
The Polish flag flies by Warsaw's embassy in Moscow. (file photo)

Russia has expelled five staff members at Poland's embassy in Moscow in a tit-for-tat move after Warsaw declared three Russian diplomats in Poland personae non gratae for violating their diplomatic status.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on April 23 it had summoned Poland's ambassador to Russia, Krzysztof Krajewski, to the ministry in Moscow where he was informed of the decision.

It said the move, which gives the Polish diplomats until May 15 to leave Russia, was made because Warsaw was "consciously pursuing a course toward the further degradation and destruction of our bilateral relations."

Poland's Foreign Ministry described Russia's decision as “another example of aggressive policies” and “a deliberate gesture meant to inflame relations with the neighbors and the entire international community."

The ministry said it reserved the right to “an appropriate response."

The Polish government expelled the three Russian Embassy staff members on April 15 for violating their diplomatic status and "conducting activities harmful to Poland."

Russia's move to expel Polish diplomats came as Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania ordered the expulsion of a total of four Russian diplomats.

The three Baltic countries said they acted in solidarity with the Czech Republic, which is engaged in a tense diplomatic showdown with Moscow involving the expulsions of scores of diplomats over Russia's alleged role in a deadly 2014 explosion at a Czech arms depot.

The Czech Republic, the Baltic states, and Poland are all European Union and NATO members.

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