Moscow sees Slovakia's decision to expel the diplomats and declare them personae non grata as a "nonconstructive and regretful step by local authorities", which contravenes "the spirit of fruitful cooperation."
"In official Slovak statements and local media reports, the decision to expel our diplomats is linked to the story related to visa issuance at Slovakia's consulate general in St. Petersburg. This makes us puzzled, this move seems unprofessional and undignified. In this context, the statement by the Slovak Foreign Ministry's press secretary about the interest in developing relations with Russia sounds at least illogical", the Russian Embassy in Bratislava said in a statement.
"Regardless of these unfriendly steps, the Russian side confirms again its commitment to the longstanding tradition of pragmatic, mutual respect-based relations between our countries and peoples", the embassy added.
News agencies reported on Monday that the Slovakian Foreign Ministry confirmed the expulsion of three Russian diplomats from the country on suspicion of espionage.