Four Russian diplomats expelled from Germany as part of Western countries' retaliation over a spy poisoning arrived back in Moscow on the weekend, the Russian embassy in Berlin told AFP on Monday.
"They are now back in Moscow. They left Germany over the weekend", ahead of a Monday deadline imposed on Moscow by Berlin to recall the envoys, embassy spokesman Denis Miskerin said.
The German foreign ministry confirmed that the four diplomats had left the country, without giving any further information.
More than 150 Russian diplomats have been ordered out of the US, EU members, NATO countries and other nations as punishment for the March attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury which Britain has blamed on Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday suggested the British government could be behind the poisoning.
The counterclaims from Moscow came as the last Russian diplomats were set to leave the countries where they were posted.
The Kremlin has vehemently denied the accusations that it was behind the nerve agent attack and ordered Britain and its allies to recall some of their envoys from Russia.
Russia's ambassador in Berlin, Sergei Nechayev, said he was "astonished and disappointed" by Western countries which "trust in London's statements rather than seek an immediate investigation with Russia", in an interview with German regional newspaper Rheinische Post due to be published Tuesday.