Europe expulses Russian diplomats

Strasbourg 05.04.2022 Danemark,Germany, France, Latvia, and Lithuania have announced the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats as part of a joint European reaction to the massacre of civilians in a small c town of Bucha, near Ukraine capital, allegedly by Russian forces before they retreated.

The German government announced 40 Russian diplomats “undesirable,” and France declared it would expel 35 Russian diplomats, saying their activities were “against our security interests.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called the move a response to the “unbelievable brutality” the Kremlin had committed in Ukraine.

The diplomats expelled from Germany have worked “against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society,” Baerbock added. “We will not tolerate this any longer.”

The decision was communicated to Russian Ambassador in Berlin Sergei Nethayev after he was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, Baerbock said. The affected envoys were given five days to depart from Germany.

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the expulsions from France were part of a European approach to the murders in Bucha, where dozens of bodies were found in mass graves or littering the streets.

The Kremlin has rejected Western accusations that Russian forces were responsible, and provided with Ukraine military forces videos, and video of the Mayor of Bucha, who also did not even hint on any disorders, while declaring the liberation of the town form Russian troops.

Lithuania said earlier it had expelled Russia’s Ambassador to Vilnius and was recalling its top diplomat in Moscow in response to reports of Bucha massacre.

“Lithuania stands in full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, who are victims of Russia’s unprecedented aggression. We are therefore lowering the level of Russia’s diplomatic representation,” Lithuanian top diplomat Gabrielius Landsbergis said in a statement on April 4.

“Unfortunately, what the world saw in Bucha can be only the beginning. We will be able to discover even more evidences of cruel war crimes in other towns upon their liberation. The war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine will not be forgotten,” he added.

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