22:01 GMT20 September 2020
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    In early August, the Slovak authorities ruled to declare three Russian diplomats persona non grata over suspected espionage and expel them from the country. The diplomats and their families have since left Slovakia. The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier warned that Moscow would respond in kind.

    Russia will expel three Slovak diplomats as a mirror response to Bratislava's similar move earlier this month, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday after summoning the Slovak ambassador.

    The ministry voiced protests to the Slovak envoy over what it called the groundless expulsion of the diplomats.

    "The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic Peter Priputen on 31 August to express a strong protest in connection with the groundless expulsion of three diplomatic staffers of the Russian Embassy in Slovakia in August of this year. This unfriendly act is seen as contradictory to the traditional spirit of constructive development of relations between our countries. The ambassador was notified that in accordance with the principle of reciprocity, Russia made a decision to expel three diplomatic staffers of the Slovak Embassy in Moscow," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    The three Russian diplomats and their families left Slovakia on 11 August after the country declared them persona non grata. Bloomberg reported citing an unnamed official that three Russian diplomats were being expelled from Slovakia on suspicion of espionage.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry, commenting on the expulsion of Russians from Slovakia, warned that a mirror response would follow.

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    expulsion, diplomats, Slovakia
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