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Russia expels two Colombian diplomats in tit-for-tat move

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A view of the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow, Russia

Russia has expelled two Colombian diplomats in response to the expulsion of two of its diplomats from the South American country.

Russia declared “personae non gratae two staffers of Colombia’s diplomatic mission in Moscow,” the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday.

The move came a day after the “Colombian side’s baseless decision to expel two diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Bogota,” said the ministry.

“This step is not in line with the traditionally friendly and respectful relations between Russia and Colombia,” it added.

Juan Francisco Espinosa, the head of Colombia’s migration agency, confirmed that the two Russian diplomats left Bogota earlier this month, but declined to comment on what prompted their expulsion.

He said that government entities worked together to confront potential security risks.

“Given the circumstances in which these two officials, these two people, left, they cannot return to the country in the short term,” he said.

Colombia’s Tiempo newspaper said in a report on Tuesday that Bogota had expelled the diplomats over suspected intelligence activities.


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