The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry has expelled three European diplomats for allegedly participating in the January 23rd protests in support of imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny.
All three diplomats — an employee of the Swedish Consulate General in St. Petersburg, an employee of the Polish Consulate General in St. Petersburg, and an employee of the Germany Embassy in Moscow — have been declared persona non grata. The Russian Foreign Ministry has ordered them to leave the country “in the near future.”
Ambassadors from the three aforementioned countries were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday, February 5, where they were informed that the actions of their personnel were “unacceptable and didn’t correspond to their diplomatic status.”
The Russian side expects that in the future, the diplomatic missions of the Kingdom of Sweden, Republic of Poland, and Federal Republic of Germany and their personnel will strictly follow the norms of international law.
On February 2, several Western diplomats attended Alexey Navalny’s hearing in Moscow. The Russian Foreign Ministry said their actions constituted interference in the country’s domestic affairs. However, the British Embassy in Russia described this as “common practice.”