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Moscow Reserves the Right to Expel Ukrainian Diplomat in Tit-for-Tat Move
By Staff, Agencies
Moscow protested to Kiev in light of Russian diplomat expulsion.
Russia reserves the right to expel a Ukrainian diplomat as a response to Kiev's recent move to declare a staffer of the Russian embassy persona non grata, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
"The Russian Foreign Ministry expresses its resolute protest to this new unfriendly move of the Ukrainian side. The accusations against the Russian diplomat are groundless. He did not do anything outside his diplomatic mandate," the ministry said in a statement.
Moscow slammed as "absolutely unacceptable" Kiev's claim that the move was a symmetric response to the "oral message about the undesirability of the staying on the Russian Federation's territory of the consul of the Ukrainian consulate general in St. Petersburg."
According to the Russian foreign ministry, the Ukrainian consul was recommended to leave Russia after it was revealed that he was trying to obtain classified databases of the Russian law enforcement agencies, in order to assist Kiev's preparations for "political repression" against Ukrainian holders of Russian citizenship.
"Taking into consideration all the circumstances, the Russian Foreign Ministry cannot qualify the Russian diplomat's expulsion from Ukraine as a symmetric measure, and reserves the right for reciprocal moves against a diplomat of the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow," the ministry concluded.
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