Russia reportedly expels three EU diplomats amid Borrell-Lavrov talks.
Russia expelled German, Polish and Swedish diplomats for participating in ‘illegal protests’ in support of jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
Foreign Ministry said in a statement on February 5 that the Swedish ambassador, the charge d’affaires of Poland, and the German envoy were summoned to the ministry where a protest was lodged with the diplomats in connection with the “recorded participation of diplomatic employees” in the rallies on January 23.
Russia has declared personae non gratae an unspecified number of employees from the diplomatic missions of Sweden, Poland, and Germany, saying they participated in protests to support opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.
In a statement issued on Friday, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had made formal protests to the embassies of Germany, Poland and Sweden. Representatives of these countries are said to have participated in mass-demonstrations that saw thousands take to the streets in cities across Russia over the past two weeks. According to officials, they have now been made “personae non grata” and “ordered to leave the territory of the Russian Federation as soon as possible.”
Russian authorities have consistently claimed that other nations have sought to influence the circumstances surrounding Navalny’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment on charges that he’d violated the terms of a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence.
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that the presence of foreign diplomats at a court considering whether to jail Kremlin critic Alexei #Navalny for longer was evidence of Western attempts to interfere in #Moscow’s domestic affairs.