Poland – In yet another collateral impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war that has been going on for a month now, the spokesman for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lukasz Jasina, announced on Wednesday, 23 March that the Warsaw authorities had decided to expel 45 Russian diplomats for “activities incompatible with their status as diplomats ”.
“Intelligence activities against Poland”
For his part, the spokesman for the Polish security services (ABW), Stanisław Żaryn, confirmed the emergency expulsion of
“45 Russian secret service agents and persons related to them who had been enjoying diplomatic status in Poland. (…) The list was forwarded to the Foreign Affairs ministry and includes officers of the Russian Federation’s special services
and persons cooperating with them (…), persons who have carried out intelligence activities against Poland, and also against our allies”. Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński explained on Twitter that:
“Poland has expelled 45 Russian spies posing as diplomats. With total consistency and determination, we are dismantling the Russian secret services’ network of agents in our country.”
“Russia is a state hostile to Poland”
Those Russian citizens who received an expulsion order were given five days to leave Poland, except for one person who is considered to be particularly dangerous and who was given 48 hours to leave.
“Russia is our neighbour and will not disappear from the map of Europe, but the aggression against Ukraine proves that it is a hostile state, and a state hostile to Poland”,
explained Lukasz Jasina. “The diplomats’ illegal activities may also pose a threat to those who have left their land to flee the war and have found protection in our country. (…) Poland, in coordination with its allies, has decided to significantly reduce the diplomatic staff of the Russian Federation’s Embassy. (…) Russia has been waging a barbaric war against Ukraine for over three weeks. We and other Western countries are being treated as their primary enemies. (…)
Further tolerating such illegal activities by the Russian services would pose a threat particularly to Poland’s security, but also to that of our NATO and EU allies, with whom we coordinate all these activities.”
Warsaw registrar arrested last week
Stanisław Żaryn also clarified that these diplomats’ prohibited activities were discovered following the arrest on 17 March of an employee of the Warsaw Civil Registry on suspicion of spying for Russia, and whose “activity posed a threat to Poland’s internal and external security.”
Russia will reciprocate
As a result, the Russian ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreyev, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday morning to be notified of the Polish decision. He denied the charges and warned that the expulsions would be reciprocated, saying:
“We will expel Polish diplomats. (…) There is no basis for such accusations.”