Poland expels 45 Russian diplomats
Brussels 23.03.2022 Poland ordered the expulsion of 45 Russians identified as “intelligence officers” using their diplomatic status as cover to operate in the country, officials said Wednesday, March 23.(Image: Warsaw skyline).
Poland’s Internal Security Agency said it has asked the Foreign Ministry to urgently expel Russians, who were described as a danger to Poland’s security.
“These are people who have and operate using their diplomatic status, but in reality conduct intelligence activities against Poland,” said Stanislaw Zaryn, the state security spokesperson.
Russian Ambassador Sergei Andreev, who was summoned to the Foreign Ministry has criticised the decision, and said those being kicked out of Poland “were carrying out normal diplomatic and trade activity.”
Polish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lukasz Jasina said the Russians were offered five days to leave the country, with the exception person who must leave in 48 hours.
“Russia is our neighbour and will not disappear from the map of Europe, but the aggression against Ukraine proves that it is a hostile state, and even hostile to Poland,” Jasina added.
The spokesperson didn’t explain the reasons behind the actions, but suggested that they pose an especially grave threat while Poland is accepting large numbers of refugees from Ukraine.
“The illegal activities of these diplomats can also pose a threat to those people who left their country to flee the war and found protection in our country,” he continued.
“Poland, in coordination with our allies, decided to significantly reduce the diplomatic staff of the Embassy of the Russian Federation”, he said, and added that the Russian services are increasingly offensive and “are acting aggressively against Poland.”
Zaryn said in a separate statement that the security agency found that the activities of the 45 Russians have served “the objectives of the Russian undertakings designed to undermine the stability of Poland and its allies in the international arena and poses a threat to the interests and security of our country.”