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Because of espionage: EU countries expel Russian diplomats

Because of espionage: EU countries expel Russian diplomats

Three European Union countries are expelling dozens of Russian diplomats. The Dutch Foreign Ministry announced, on Tuesday, that 17 diplomats accredited to the Russian embassy, ​​who were revealed as intelligence officers by the Dutch intelligence, must leave the country. Belgium is expelling a total of 21 Russian diplomats on suspicion of espionage, Foreign Minister Sophie Willems told parliament and on Twitter.

Willems explained that the move was coordinated with the Netherlands. According to the Belga news agency, the Dutch government accuses those affected of spying and endangering security. Foreign Minister Wupke Hoekstra said he expected the government in Moscow to take appropriate countermeasures.

Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès said on Twitter that the diplomats were involved in “espionage and influence operations that threaten national security”. According to her, diplomats work at the Russian embassy and consulate. You have to leave the country within 15 days, the Belga news agency quoted Velmis as saying. “This decision is not a punishment, it is only about our national security.” Diplomatic channels remained open.

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