Ally nations expel dozens of Russian officials

AP , Tuesday 29 Mar 2022

In what appeared to be a coordinated action to tackle Russian espionage, at least four European allies expelled a total of dozens of Russian diplomats on Tuesday.

A building housing Russian diplomats in Warsaw, Poland
File Photo: A man waves the Ukrainian and Polish flag during a demonstration in front of a building housing Russian diplomats in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, March 13, 2022. Poland s Internal Security Agency says it has identified 45 Russian secret service officers and their associates who have enjoyed diplomatic status in Poland. . AP

The expulsions come against a backdrop of relations between Russia and the West that have been plunged into a deep freeze following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The Netherlands said it was expelling 17 Russians who it described as intelligence officers masquerading as diplomats. Belgium said it was ejecting 21 Russians.

The Czech Republic gave one Russian diplomat 72 hours to leave the country. Ireland told four senior Russian officials to leave the country because of activities deemed not "in accordance with international standards of diplomatic behavior.''

Poland last week expelled 45 Russians whom the government identified as intelligence officers using their diplomatic status as cover to operate in the country.

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