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    Expulsion of Diplomats From Russia During the Period 2010-2018

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    Expulsion of Russian Diplomats Over Skripal Case (109)
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    The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday informed the ambassadors of Western countries of retaliatory measures in connection with the expulsion of Russian diplomats over the Skripal case; Moscow has expelled diplomats and employees from the diplomatic missions of more than 20 countries. Sputnik recalls other instances of Russia expelling diplomats.


    On March 17, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared 23 diplomatic staff of the UK Embassy in Moscow personae non gratae and demanded them to leave the country within a week. The move came in wake of a souring of relations between Russia and the UK, which have become increasingly strained after former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found poisoned in Salisbury, England. On March 14, British Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of its alleged involvement in the poisoning and announced that London would expel 23 Russian diplomats and break off all high-level contacts.

    The car of British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow, who was summoned at the Russian Foreign Ministry, near the ministry building
    © Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
    The car of British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow, who was summoned at the Russian Foreign Ministry, near the ministry building


    On November 28, the mainstream media reported that two diplomats from the Swedish Embassy in Russia could be expelled from the country in response to similar actions taken by the Swedish side. The Embassy of Sweden in Russia did not comment on the possible expulsion of its staff. Neither did the Russian Embassy in Sweden.

    READ MORE: Expelling US Diplomats Shows ‘Further Deterioration’ of US-Russia Relations — US

    On July 28, in response to the closure of diplomatic missions in the US and the expulsion of Russian diplomats, Moscow suggested that Washington should reduce its diplomatic staff by 755 persons, down to 455 – the same number of staff working in Russian diplomatic missions in the US.

    On May 31, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the expulsion of five Moldovan diplomats in response to similar actions taken by Chisinau. They were ordered to leave the country within three days. On May 29, the Embassy of Russia in Moldova received a note declaring five Russian diplomats personae non gratae in the country.

    'Orchestrators of Attack on Skripals Aimed to Point at Russians' – Finnish MP

    On May 31, Russia informed Estonia of a reciprocal expulsion of two diplomats. The Estonian Consul-General in St. Petersburg and the head of the Pskov Office of the Consulate General should have left Russia within five days.  On May 26, Estonian authorities ordered Russian Consul-General in Narva Dmitry Kazennov and the Consul Andrey Surgaev to leave the country. Reasons for this decision were not reported.


    On July 9, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared two American diplomats personae non gratae and announced their expulsion from Moscow. Earlier, US State Department spokesman John Kirby reported that on June 17 the US had expelled two Russian diplomats in response to an incident that occurred with an American diplomat in Moscow. The incident was reported by the Washington Post, which wrote that on June 6 an American official had been attacked. The Russian Foreign Ministry explained that the diplomat was a CIA employee and that it was he who attacked a Russian policeman guarding the embassy. This was then confirmed by CCTV footage. 


    On September 1, Russia expelled the Ukrainian diplomat Igor Fediekevich who had been working at the Ukrainian Consulate in St. Petersburg. This was done in response to the expulsion of a Russian diplomat from Odessa. On July 13, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine delivered a note declaring the acting Consul-General in Odessa to be a persona non grata and reported that the Russian diplomat had already left the country.


    On November 17, it was reported that Russia expelled several Polish diplomats for activities incompatible with their status in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Poland. Three military attachés and one official from the political department of the Polish diplomatic mission had to leave the country.

    On November 15, the mainstream media reported that a female employee of the political department of the German Embassy in Moscow was withdrawn from Russia at the request of Russian authorities. This happened after a Russian employee from the Consulate-General in Bonn had been expelled from Germany “without additional attention” after German intelligence service had been observing him for several months.

    On April 22, the Canadian diplomatic mission in Moscow was informed that its First Secretary Margarita Atanasov was to be expelled from Russia within two weeks. This was done in response to the expulsion of a Russian assistant military attaché from Ottawa.


    On the night of May 13 to 14, the Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested CIA agent Ryan Christopher Fogle as he tried to recruit a Russian security officer. Fogle, who had been working as the third secretary of the political department in the US Embassy in Moscow, was declared a persona non grata and ordered to leave the country immediately. 

    On November 17 it was reported that the Estonian Consul-General in St. Petersburg Franek Persidski was declared a persona non grata in the Russia. According to Estonian media, this was because of Estonia’s refusal to grant visas to a group of young Russians who were on their way to Tallinn to participate in round-table discussions at The Baltic Dialogue 2013.

    Ryan Christopher Fogle's ID
    © Photo : Russian Federal Security Service
    Ryan Christopher Fogle's ID


    On May 12, Israel's military attaché in Moscow, Vadim Leiderman, was arrested on suspicion of espionage and left Russia within 48 hours. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Vadim Leiderman was caught in the act receiving secret information from the Russian citizen. With regard to the activities incompatible with Leiderman’s diplomatic status, the Russian Foreign Ministry voiced its protest and declared him a persona non grata. 


    In late December, according to Spanish media, the Russian Foreign Ministry ordered Political Attaché Ignacio Cartagena and First Secretary Borja Cortes-Breton to leave the country. This was after Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez García-Herrera agreed with the order made by Director of the National Intelligence Service Felix Sanz Roldan to expel two Russian diplomats in late November.

    In mid-December both Russia and Britain expelled diplomats from each other’s countries: one embassy employee from each country left their respective diplomatic missions. On December 10, the UK sent an order to the Russian Embassy in London to withdraw one of its employees from the UK. This came as a result of Russian intelligence services allegedly acting against British interests. On December 16 Russia requested that the British embassy recall one of its employees from Moscow in response. London rejected the reason for the measure but satisfied the request.

    READ MORE: 'Orchestrators of Attack on Skripals Aimed to Point at Russians' – Finnish MP

    On August 16, Gabriel Grecu, first secretary of the political department at the Romanian Embassy in Moscow, was arrested for espionage by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.  According to the FSB, Grecu was working at the Romanian Embassy in Moscow “under the cover of his position as a first secretary of the political department”. The diplomat was declared a persona non grata and was ordered to leave the country within two days. Romania received a “strong protest” in connection with his activity. After the incident, Romanian authorities expelled one diplomat from the Russian Embassy in Romania.

    Expulsion of Russian Diplomats Over Skripal Case (109)


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    expulsion, diplomats, Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia