Russia announces expulsion of 36 European Union diplomats
In retaliation for similar steps taken against Moscow's foreign envoys over the Kremlin's military campaign in Ukraine, Russia expelled 36 diplomats from two European nations on Tuesday.
The Russian foreign ministry has declared 21 Belgian and 15 Dutch diplomats "persona non grata," giving them two weeks to leave the country.
Moscow also summoned Luxembourg's envoy, warning him that Russia may decide to take reciprocal measures for the tiny European state's expulsion of Moscow's ambassador.
This month, Russia and a number of EU countries exchanged diplomatic expulsions in the wake of widespread condemnation of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, which has been strongly denounced in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.
The ongoing expulsions indicate that diplomatic relations between Russia and the rest of the world are deteriorating.
As a result of the growing concern over the Ukraine war, the EU has suspended almost 200 Russian envoys and personnel.
The expulsion of Russian diplomats by a number of European countries has been described by the Kremlin as a "short-sighted move" that will only hinder dialogue.