France says to expel 35 Russian diplomats

AFP , Monday 4 Apr 2022

France on Monday said it would expel 35 Russian diplomats as part of a joint European action after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Jean-Yves Le Drian
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a joint press conference with his Lithuanian counterpart at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vilnius, Lithuania, on April 1, 2022. AFP

"France decided this evening to expel a number of Russian personnel with diplomatic status stationed in France whose activities are against our security interests," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

A ministry source, who asked not to be named, said 35 Russian diplomats would be expelled.

"This action is part of a European approach," the foreign ministry statement added. "Our first responsibility is always to ensure the safety of French people and Europeans," it said.

There has been outrage across Europe over killings in the town of Bucha near the capital where dozens of bodies were found in mass graves or littering the streets near Kyiv over the weekend.

The Kremlin has rejected Western accusations that Russian forces were responsible.

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