Slovakia – Barely a week after the Warsaw authorities announced the expulsion of 45 Russian diplomats for “activities incompatible with their status”, Slovakia followed suit this Wednesday 30 March and in turn is requesting the departure of 35 more Russian diplomats – mid March, three other Russian officials were already made to leave Slovakia.
This decision comes after similar measures were taken on Tuesday 29 March by Belgium (21 diplomats expelled), Ireland (4), the Netherlands (17) and the Czech Republic (1).
“The Russian diplomatic mission shows no interest in operating correctly”
According to the statements made by the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Juraj Tomaga, the Slovak government has therefore decided to reduce “the staff of the Russian Embassy in Bratislava by 35 people [and to] set a maximum number of diplomatic and service passports” to the Russian mission:
“This step is a necessary response to the continuation of activities of Russian embassy personnel, which violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and are not in line with the interests of the Slovak Republic and our goal of developing a partnership with the Russian Federation.
[…] We regret that following the previous expulsions of Russian diplomats in the last couple of years, the Russian diplomatic mission has not shown any interest in operating correctly in Slovakia.”
As usual, the spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, limited her response to announcing that
“counter measures will be taken against all unfriendly measures against Russian diplomacy’s institutions.”