Due to Russia‘s aggression against Ukraine, European countries are rethinking their attitude to security issues and are more careful in assessing the activities of Russian diplomats.
Denmark announced the expulsion of 15 Russian intelligence officers who, according to government data, were spying against the country.
According to politiken.dk, the Russians have 14 days to leave Denmark.
“This is a historic step that we are taking here on the Danish side, as well as many other European countries because we want to protect our security and the safety of Denmark,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Jeppe Kofod after a meeting of the Foreign Policy Council.
Official Paris also announced the expulsion of about 35 Russian diplomats whose activities run counter to the country’s security interests.
“France made a decision to expel many Russian employees with diplomatic status in France whose activities run counter to our security interests. This action is a part of the European approach. Our main responsibility is always to ensure the security of the French and Europeans,” reads the statement by the French Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
The German Federal Government declared 40 Russian diplomats personae non grata. This was stated by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Baerbock.
“The images from Bucha show an unbelievable brutality on the part of the Russian leadership and those who follow its propaganda, a destructiveness that knows no bounds… The Federal Government has therefore decided today to declare persona non grata a significant number of members of the Russian Embassy who have worked against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society, day after day here in Germany,” reads the statement.
Baerbock also noted that Germany would strengthen sanctions against Russia and “resolutely increase” support for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Government of Italy adopted a decision to expel 30 Russian diplomats for national security reasons.
“Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ettore Sequi summoned Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergey Razov on my behalf this morning to inform him of the Italian Government’s decision to expel 30 Russian diplomats working at the embassy as personae non grata,” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Luigi Di Maio said.
He added that the decision to expel Russian diplomats was made in agreement with other European and Atlantic partners.
In addition, the decision to expel Russian diplomats was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
“Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs adopted a decision to expel three Russian diplomats whose work in Sweden did not comply with the Vienna Convention,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Ann Linde.
As a reminder, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Bulgaria announced their decisions to expel Russian diplomats last week. In total, about two dozen Russians were declared personae non grata.