Russia Expels Two German Diplomats
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German ambassador in Moscow Geza Andreas von Geyr has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry and informed about the expulsion of two German diplomats over Berlin's similar move, the ministry said on Monday.
Earlier in December, Germany expelled two Russian diplomats over the case of murder of Georgian citizen Zelimkhan Khangoshvili. Moscow informed the ambassador about its "strong protest" over Berlin's "unfriendly move."
"The German ambassador was informed about declaring two diplomatic employees of the German embassy in Russia 'persona non grata' as a mirror response to the aforementioned unfriendly decision of the German government, and it was also emphasized that the Russian side would invariably adequately respond in a proportionate manner to any potential confrontational attacks by Berlin in the future," the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also said that "the Russian side categorically rejects" accusations of Moscow's involvement in the murder of Khangoshvili.
On 15 December, the Berlin High Court found Russian citizen Vadim Sokolov (Krasikov) guilty of the murder of Georgian citizen Zelimkhan Khangoshvili and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The defense insists on the lack of evidence base, the decision on the appeal has not yet been made. After the verdict, the German Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Nechaev and announced the expulsion of two Russian diplomats.
Berlin Calls Moscow's Decision to Expel 2 German Diplomats Unfounded
"This step did not come as a surprise, but from the point of view of the federal government, it is absolutely unfounded," the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry recalled that the decision of Berlin to expel Russian diplomats on December 15 had been made on the basis of a German court decision.
"The federal government seeks a dialogue with Russia on the basis of international law and mutual respect. Today's decision of the Russian Foreign Ministry again complicates these relations," it added.
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