Russia expels Slovakian diplomats in retaliation
Following Slovakia's decision to expel three Russian diplomats for alleged espionage, Russia deems three Slovakian diplomats as persona non grata.
Russia's Foreign Ministry confirmed Monday that Moscow is expelling three Slovakian diplomats after Bratislava expelled three Russian diplomats for alleged espionage earlier this month.
The Russian ministry said it had summoned Slovakia's ambassador to Moscow and told him three diplomats were now persona non grata "as a retaliatory measure."
Moscow also complained about obstacles for Russian overseas agencies in Slovakia and "threats to their safe functioning."
Slovak authorities said on March 15 that they had decided to expel three Russian diplomats following information from intelligence services.
Bratislava also said that it had charged two citizens with spying for Russia after they allegedly passed on highly sensitive intelligence to Moscow concerning NATO and Ukraine.
North Macedonia to expel Russian diplomats
Similarly, North Macedonia ordered the expulsion of five Russian envoys from the country, according to its foreign affairs ministry.
"The listed [diplomats] were executing activities which are contrary to the Vienna Convention for diplomatic relations," the foreign ministry claimed in a statement, referring to the international treaty that includes agreements related to diplomatic protocols.
The diplomats have five days to leave North Macedonia, the ministry added.
The incident marks the latest expulsion of Russian diplomats from Western countries following similar moves made in the US, Poland, and the Baltic states earlier this month.
Following Russia's special military operation in Ukraine last month, North Macedonia has followed the Europe Union's lead in unlawfully sanctioning Moscow, with officials in Skopje labeling Russia a "hostile state".