Ambassadors of Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday and informed that a number of their diplomats had been declared personae non gratae. The move is Moscow’s response to their earlier decision to expel Russian representatives over the conflict in Ukraine.
All four ambassadors received protest notes regarding their government’s recent decision to expel Russian diplomats. Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands were informed of the number of their own diplomats who would have to leave Russia in response, while Luxembourg was let off with a warning.
Vienna’s decision to expel four Russian diplomats on April 7 was an “unfriendly act that seriously harms both bilateral relations and the international reputation of Austria,” Moscow told Ambassador Werner Almhofer, adding that four of his employees had until April 24 to leave Russia.
Belgium’s Mark Michielsen was likewise given a list of Belgian diplomatic staff who will have until May 3 to leave. Brussels expelled 21 Russian diplomats on March 29, accusing them of “espionage” and “security threats.”