Around 400 Russian diplomats expelled from 28 countries

Around 400 Russian diplomats expelled from 28 countries

The Foreign Ministry said that twenty-eight countries have kicked out a total of around 400 diplomats.

Since the launch of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, around 400 Russian diplomats have been expelled from 28 countries, the Russian Foreign Ministry revealed on Monday.

The Deputy Foreign Minister Evgeny Ivanov said diplomatic expulsions were the preferred method of the West even before February 24. He said that the seizure of Russian assets abroad was an unfriendly measure and that these actions will not go unanswered. We can appeal to the courts where we can. Unfriendly actions do not go unanswered in the legislative sphere either, Ivanov said during a parliamentary meeting, as cited by Russian media.

Moscow previously warned that it would retaliate to all expulsions of its diplomats. On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned German ambassador Geza Andreas von Geyr to express strong protests over Berlin's decision to expel 40 employees of Russian diplomatic institutions. The ministry announced that 40 employees of German diplomatic institutions in Russia have been designated persona non grata as a symmetrical response.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

Moscow considers harsh sanctions unjustified and unjustified by the West as a result of Russia's offensive.