Expatica news

Moscow expels 5 Portuguese diplomats: ministry

Russia said Thursday it was expelling five employees of Portugal’s embassy in Moscow in a tit-for-tat move following the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Portugal as part of joint European action over Ukraine.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement it summoned Portugal’s ambassador in Moscow, Madalena Fischer, to express its “strong protest” against the decision to expel 10 employees of Russia’s foreign missions in Portugal.

“It was emphasised that this unfriendly step would have a negative impact on Russian-Portuguese relations,” the ministry added.

It said that five employees of the Portuguese embassy in Moscow “have been declared persona non grata” and must leave Russian within 14 days.

“The Portuguese government protests against this decision of the Russian authorities, which has no other justification that simple reprisals,” Portugal’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said that unlike the Russian diplomats expelled from Portugal, its diplomats were “carrying out strictly diplomatic activities in full compliance with the Vienna Convention”.

A number of European countries have recently expelled Russian diplomats as part of joint action against Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, with Russia responding in kind.

Moscow on Wednesday kicked out diplomats from France, Italy and Spain, more than 80 in total, in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats from their countries.