Around 400 Russian diplomats have been expelled from 28 countries since the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry revealed on Monday.
According to Deputy Foreign Minister Evgeny Ivanov, diplomatic expulsions became the preferred method of the West even before February 24. Calling the seizure of Russian assets abroad another “unfriendly” measure, he said these actions “will not go unanswered.”
“We counteract where we can, up to appealing to the courts. Unfriendly actions do not go unanswered in the legislative sphere either,” Ivanov said during a parliamentary meeting, as cited by Russian media.
Moscow has previously warned that it would retaliate to all expulsions of its diplomats. On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned German Ambassador Geza Andreas von Geyr to express “strong protest” over Berlin’s earlier decision to expel 40 employees of Russian diplomatic institutions. As a “symmetrical response,” 40 employees of German diplomatic institutions in Russia have been designated persona non grata, the ministry announced.