Russia announces ‘reciprocal’ expulsion of German diplomats

Russia has announced tit-for-tat expulsion of more than 20 German diplomats following the “mass” removal of Russian embassy staff from the country and accused Berlin of destroying ties, Russian state media said.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told state-run television Zvezda on Saturday that “more than 20” German diplomats would have to leave.Her statement came shortly after the ministry denounced “another mass expulsion of employees of Russian diplomatic missions in Germany”.

The German foreign ministry said it took note of the Russian statements.

“The Federal government and the Russian side have been [in] contact in recent weeks on personnel matters in their respective representations abroad,” the German foreign ministry told the AFP news agency.

“Today’s flight is part of that process,” it said, without specifically mentioning any expulsion of Russian diplomats.

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