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Russia announces expulsion of dozens of French diplomats in retaliatory move

By RFI
Russia Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV  AFP
MAY 18, 2022 LISTEN
Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

Russia on Wednesday announced the expulsion of 34 French diplomats in retaliation for moves by France to expel 41 Russians in April, in the wake of Moscow's offensive in Ukraine.

"Thirty four employees of French diplomatic missions in Russia have been declared persona non grata," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that they have two weeks to leave the country.

France in April kicked out 35 Russians with diplomatic status as part of a broader wave of expulsions that saw more than 300 Russians sent home from European capitals.

Later that month France's Foreign Ministry declared six Russian agents posing as diplomats as "persona non grata" after an investigation by the domestic intelligence services concluded they were working against French national interests.

Paris “condemned" Wednesday's move by Moscow, which comes as fighting continues in eastern Ukraine and the first Russian soldier was tried for war crimes.

(with wires)

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