Poland expels 45 Russian diplomats, claims "espionage"
The diplomats were given five days to leave the country, and Russia reserves its right to take retaliatory measures.
Poland said on Wednesday it expelled 45 Russia, over alleged accusations of "espionage". The allegation was immediately dismissed as "baseless" by the Russian Ambassador to Poland.
Polish Minister of Interior Mariusz Kamiński made the announcement on Twitter, saying "Poland has expelled 45 Russian spies pretending to be diplomats. We are dismantling the Russian special services network in our country."
Polska wydala 45 rosyjskich szpiegów udających dyplomatów. Z pełną konsekwencją i determinacją rozbijamy agenturę rosyjskich służb specjalnych w naszym kraju.— Mariusz Kamiński (@Kaminski_M_) March 23, 2022
Russia's Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreyev said the expulsions were indeed true and told reporters that the diplomats were given five days to leave the country. In the meantime, the Russian diplomat added that Russia reserves the right to take retaliatory measures.
Bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries will remain, however, as the ambassadors will remain.
Poland leaves Ukrainian refugees prone to human trafficking, sexual assault: Amnesty
Nils Muižnieks, Europe Regional Director at Amnesty International, has expressed worry that Poland's lack of proper coordination may be a risk for refugees, depriving them of essential care, making them prone to sexual assault and human trafficking and increasing their chance of being preyed on by criminals. "The Polish government must now step up to meet these challenges and keep people safe.”
Amnesty International conducted a 10-day visit to Poland in which it found that in all places including reception points, government authorities left volunteers in charge instead of their own personnel. According to the organization, this is not a sustainable long-term solution for proper registration, accommodation, social support, or other assistance.
Particularly with non-Ukrainian nationals, the government should educate all those fleeing Ukraine about their legal status in Poland or the possibility of moving regularly to other EU countries.
Muižnieks said, “Many non-Ukrainian people, including those in need of international protection, are unsure of their status in Poland. Everyone fleeing the conflict must be treated with humanity and offered opportunities to carry on with their lives, regardless of their passport."