L’European Union denounced, Friday, April 15, the “unjustified” expulsion of 18 diplomats from its representation in Russia, believing that this measure would “only worsen” the international isolation of Moscow. “The diplomats in question perform their duties within the framework of and in full respect of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” said the spokesman for the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, in a press release. “The decision taken on Friday by the Russian authorities has no reason to be, if not a pure retaliatory measure,” he laments.
“The course of action chosen by Russia will only aggravate its international isolation,” he asserts. Nineteen members of the Russian representation to the EU were declared “personae non grata” on April 5 because of “activities contrary” to their status. “The European Union is acting in response to the illegal and disruptive actions of members of the Russian mission against the interests and security of the EU and its Member States”, explained Josep Borrell’s spokesman at the time.
“In retaliation for the unfriendly actions of the European Union, 18 members of the EU representation in Russia are declared personae non grata and must leave Russian territory as soon as possible,” Russian diplomacy said in a statement on Friday. . More than 200 Russian diplomats have been expelled in recent weeks by EU countries and Moscow has promised to respond to each of these expulsions.