EUROPEAN NATIONS EXPEL RUSSIAN OFFICIALS
Four senior officials at the Russian Embassy in Ireland have been asked to leave the country. Belgium will expel 21 Russian diplomats while the Dutch Government has ordered the expulsion of 17 Russian diplomats
DUBLIN/BRUSSELS/THE HAGUE: Four senior officials at the Russian Embassy in Ireland have been asked to leave the country, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said in late March.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs summoned the Russian Ambassador to Iveagh House (headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs) to advise him that four senior officials have been asked to leave the state,” Coveney said in a statement on March 29, Xinhua news agency reported. “This is because their activities have not been in accordance with international standards of diplomatic behaviour. This action is being taken under Article 9 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” he said.
The statement, which is posted on the website of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, said that the Irish government “continues to believe that the diplomatic channels between Ireland and the Russian Federation should remain open. “This is in the interest of our citizens as well as to ensure that we can continue to have a diplomatic channel of communication between Ireland and the Russian Federation in the future,” the statement said.
Belgium will expel 21 Russian diplomats suspected of espionage and involvement in influence operations threatening Belgian security, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmes has announced. The diplomats, from the Russian Embassy in Brussels and the Consulate General in Antwerp, will have to leave the territory within 15 days, Xinhua news agency reported. The decision was announced during the current affairs debate in Parliament on March 29, 2022. The Russian Ambassador to Belgium was informed by the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, said the minister. “This decision does not constitute a sanction or a punitive measure. It is only linked to our national security,” she said. “Diplomatic channels remain open ... and we will of course continue to advocate dialogue.”
The Dutch government has ordered the expulsion of 17 Russian diplomats suspected of being “intelligence officers,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced. The Russian ambassador was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hague and informed of the decision on March 29, 2022, Xinhua news agency reported. The ministry said in a statement that the measure had been taken “in the context of national security.” The move followed information from the Dutch intelligence that the 17 diplomats were “secretly active as intelligence officers,” it said.