Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland expel Russian Diplomats

Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland expel Russian Diplomats
# 29 March 2022 18:40 (UTC +04:00)

The Netherlands expel 17 people, accredited as diplomats in Russian diplomatic missions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands said in its statement Tuesday, APA reports citing Reuters.

"The Ambassador of Russia was summoned to the Ministry today," the statement says. "The ambassador was informed that the Netherlands expel 17 intelligence officers."

The grounds for the expulsion, according to the Ministry, is "the information from general and military intelligence and security agencies, which proves that the mentioned persons, accredited as diplomats in Russian missions, carry out clandestine intelligence operations."

Belgium has expelled 21 Russian diplomats for alleged spying and posing threats to security, the foreign affairs ministry told Reuters on Tuesday after a Belga news agency report that did not give sources.

The 21 Russians worked at Moscow's embassy in Brussels and consulate in Antwerp. They were all accredited as diplomats but were working on spying and influencing operations, a ministry spokesperson said.

The Dutch foreign ministry also on Tuesday expelled 17 Russian intelligence agents who were accredited as diplomats, based on information from its own security services, its foreign affairs ministry said.

Ireland has also expelled four Russian diplomats from the country.

Earlier this afternoon, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney summoned the Russian ambassador to advise him that the diplomats have to leave because their activities "have not been in accordance with international standards of diplomatic behaviour."

The action is being taken under Article 9 of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

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