Moscow Reserves Right to Respond to Expulsion of Russian Diplomats From France
Paris previously announced it would expel a number of Russian diplomats from the country citing a "security threat" they allegedly pose - according to BFM TV, at least 35 dimplomats are on the list.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday that Moscow reserves the right to retaliate after France expelled Russian diplomats from the country.
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko stressed the expulsion campaign in Europe was planned in advance, and that it will lead to a long-term deterioration of diplomatic relations.
The Russian embassy in France also previously slammed the decision of the French government.
"On 5 April, the Russian ambassador was summoned to the French Foreign Ministry, where he was given a list of employees of Russian foreign missions declared 'persona non grata' under a far-fetched pretext. For his part, the ambassador voice a firm protest against the unfriendly step by the French authorities, stressing that this will directly damage Russian-French relations, which are already complicated at the moment", the embassy said.
The wave of expulsions from EU nations comes as a response to the Russian special operation in Ukraine, launched on 24 February.
Moscow stressed that the op was started amid intensifying attacks by Ukrainian forces in Donbass, where people have been suffering from an eight-year-long war waged by Kiev. President Putin called Ukraine's campaign against Donetsk and Lugansk, which has claimed thousands of lives, genocide and stressed that Russia's goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.
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