Russia introduces retaliatory quota on number of German diplomats
German reports say that alleged Russia was the first to spark an escalation by introducing a quota on the number of staffers in German diplomatic missions in Russia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday that Germany has introduced a quota for a number of categories of staffers at Russian diplomatic missions in March, prompting Russia to introduce retaliatory measures.
Commenting on German reports that alleged Russia was the first to spark an escalation by introducing a quota on the number of staffers in German diplomatic missions in Russia, she said: "It was the German authorities that in March of this year introduced a quota for a number of categories of personnel of the Russian Embassy in Berlin and consulates general, significantly complicating their daily work."
Zakharova added that Russia’s decision was a response to Germany, and that "it is quite natural that the Russian side, in order to follow the principle of reciprocity, took retaliatory measures aimed at restoring parity in the number of foreign apparatuses of the two countries."
In late March, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev pointed out that if Germany decides to implement the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, it will be equal to declaring war on Russia.
Earlier, German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann confirmed that the warrant for Putin's arrest would be valid in Germany after a request from the ICC. The order was also supported by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who, during his visit to Japan, said that "no one is above the law."
"Some idiots, halfwits like the German justice minister, say, 'Well, if he comes, we'll arrest him.' Does he understand what that means?" Medvedev said in an interview with major Russian media.
He continued, "Let's imagine... the incumbent head of a nuclear state arrives on the territory of, say, Germany and is arrested. What is this? A declaration of war on the Russian Federation."
The Russian official warned that in such a situation, Russia would use its available means to target "the Bundestag, the chancellor's office, and so on."
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