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Moscow Vows Response to Poland's Decision to Expel 45 Russian Diplomats

© AFP 2023 / YURI KADOBNOVA man walks in front of a tower of the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry building in central Moscow on September 10, 2020.
A man walks in front of a tower of the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry building in central Moscow on September 10, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.03.2022
Earlier, the Polish Onet news portal reported, citing government sources, that Poland was expelling about 40 Russian diplomats, accusing them of espionage.
Moscow will take reciprocal actions after Warsaw announced its decision to expel Russian diplomats from the country, said Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergei Andreyev.
The Russian Ambassador earlier confirmed that he received a note from the Polish foreign ministry demanding the expulsion of 45 Russian diplomats over alleged espionage.
"I received a note about the expulsion of 45 of our employees due to activities that are not in accordance with the Vienna Convention," Andreyev told reporters.
Earlier in the day, the spokesman of the Russian diplomatic mission, Vladimir Aleksandrov, said that the Polish foreign ministry had summoned Andreyev.
The Russian Ambassador to Warsaw slammed the decision as unfounded, noting that embassy employees were engaged in normal diplomatic and commercial activities. He added that diplomats on the list were to leave the country no later than in five days.
"I am staying. I have not been declared persona non grata," Andreyev said, adding that Russia and Poland will formally continue to maintain diplomatic ties.
Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow would respond in kind to an expulsion of Russian diplomats from Poland. According to the website of the Russian Embassy in Warsaw, it employs slightly over 50 diplomats.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, weighing in on the reports on Wednesday, said Moscow will retaliate to Warsaw's decision.

"We have seen and heard of such media reports. If these reports are true, then this is a continuation of free fall, as they say, in all areas of our relations. Of course, such actions will not go unanswered," Peskov told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Stanislav Zharin, a spokesman for the Polish secret services' coordinating minister, said that Poland's Internal Security Agency had compiled a list of 45 Russian diplomats suspected of espionage, and demanded their expulsion.
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