Russia Keeps Right to Respond to Expulsion of Diplomat From Montenegro, Moscow Says
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia reserves the right to respond to the expulsion of its diplomat from Montenegro and regards the step made by Podgorica as unreasonable and deprived of logic, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.
On Friday, the Montenegrin Foreign Ministry declared one employee of the Russian embassy persona non grata due to activities allegedly contrary to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
"We reserve the right to retaliate in accordance with the generally accepted practice," Zakharova said in a statement published on the Russian foreign ministry's website.
According to the spokeswoman, Montenegro has failed to justify the expulsion of the Russian diplomat, which has revealed "the absence of reasons and logic for this demarche."
"We consider the lunge of the Montenegrin authorities as another episode of the hybrid campaign unleashed by the West and its satellites against Russia. We see this as unwillingness and inability of the official Podgorica to move away from the policy of the automatic adherence to such a destructive line â€” at the expense of international security and cooperation, as well as its own national interests," Zakharova added.
On February 24, Russia began a military operation in Ukraine, responding to calls for help from the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. In response, the West and its allies rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow, which included, among other things, mass expulsion of Russian diplomats. Moscow on the basis of reciprocity expelled dozens of employees of various diplomatic missions.
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