Russia expels Polish diplomats over spying
Iran Press TV
Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:5PM GMT
Russia has dismissed a number of Polish diplomats over spying allegations, shortly after the expulsion of its diplomats by Poland.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that the Polish diplomats had been expelled for carrying out activities "incompatible with their status."
'The Russian side took appropriate measures and a number of Polish diplomats have already left the territory of our country for activities incompatible with their status,' the foreign ministry said.
According to diplomatic sources, three Polish military attaches and one employee of the political section left Russia on November 16, after they were given 48 hours to leave the country.
The Russian foreign ministry also confirmed earlier reports that Poland had expelled a number of Russian diplomats, saying that the Polish authorities had taken an "unfriendly and unfounded step."
Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna also called Moscow's action a "symmetric response."
Neither side has offered further information as to why the Russian diplomats were expelled.
This is while Moscow has accused a number of citizens from several NATO-member states of espionage.
Recently, a former member of the Latvian parliament, Aleksejs Holostovs, was reportedly expelled for spying in Russia. An Estonian police officer has also been in detention since September for the same charges.
Moscow has also reportedly expelled a German diplomat.
Relations between the European Union (EU) and Russia have also soured over the crisis in neighboring Ukraine.
Deadly clashes between pro-Russian protesters and Ukrainian army forces in the country's eastern region escalated in April when Kiev launched military operations to crackdown on pro-Russia protests.
Accusing Moscow of instigating the Ukrainian crisis, Western states have imposed sanctions on Russia, including on its financial and energy sectors, putting a number of Russian nationals close to President Vladimir Putin on a sanctions list. Russia has denied the accusations.
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