In response to the expulsion of three European diplomats from Russia, the German, Swedish and Polish authorities in turn expelled a Russian diplomat. The governments of the three countries reported about this almost simultaneously on Monday.
The German Foreign Ministry said, on Monday, that an employee of the Russian embassy in Berlin had declared him “persona non grata”. The tensions that have escalated between the two countries are partly due to the prison of Alexei Navalny, the leader of the Russian opposition, who was arrested in Moscow after his return from Germany.
The Polish Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter that it was expelling a diplomat from the Russian consulate in Poznan, in response to the recent “unjustified expulsion” of a Polish diplomat in Russia.
Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde also announced via Twitter that someone from the Russian embassy must leave Sweden. “This is a clear response to the unacceptable decision to expel a Swedish diplomat who was only carrying out his duties,” he said.
Russia expelled three diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden on Friday because, according to Moscow, they did Participate in unauthorized protests. Since Navalny’s arrest, demonstrations have taken place across the country to secure his release.
The High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy, Joseph Borrell, expressed concern that the Russian authorities were refusing to enter into a constructive dialogue with the European Union. On Sunday, he said European leaders should draw their conclusions from that. On Monday, he met our Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes (MR), who then said that he wanted to draw “red lines together” against Russia.
Borel himself had one last week Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. However, the fact that he held a joint press conference with Lavrov afterwards earned him his approval Private EPP Group Criticize. However, Borrell defended his decision on Monday: he said only during talks with Lavrov that Russia had expelled three European diplomats.