Most countries cited breach of the Vienna Convention, security threats, and alleged espionage by the Russian diplomats for expelling them, while others declared them personae non gratae to show solidarity with Ukraine.
After the release of footage from the Ukrainian city of Bucha that many have depicted as “horrifying and regrettable for humanity,” Germany, France, and Italy accelerated their actions against Russia.
The EU has declared a number of Russian diplomats working in Brussels personae non gratae, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced.
Italy expels 30 Russian diplomats
“This measure, taken in coordination with other European and Atlantic partners, was made necessary by motives related to our national security, in the context of the current crisis situation stemming from the unjustified aggression of Ukraine by the Russian Federation,” he added.
Germany expels 40 Russian diplomats
The German Foreign Ministry did not announce the exact number of Russian diplomats declared persona non grata, but the German news agency DPA reported that the government has ordered the expulsion of 40 diplomats.
France announced its decision to expel “many Russian diplomats” hours after President Emmanuel Macron called for fresh sanctions in the light of alleged atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha, near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
According to media reports, the action will impact 35 Russian diplomats.
Spain decided to expel around 25 Russian diplomats and embassy staff, the Spanish foreign minister said.