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Russia summons Polish ambassador, expels five diplomats

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 man walks in front of the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, Russia, on December 22, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned Poland’s ambassador to protest his country’s expulsion of Russian diplomats, informing him of Moscow’s decision to respond in kind.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that it had informed Polish Ambassador to Moscow Krzysztof Krajewski that five employees of the embassy of Poland had been declared persona non grata.

The Polish diplomats are given until May 15, 2021 to leave the country.

The ministry added that the measure came in response to Poland’s April 15 decision to expel three Russian diplomats over the allegation that they had been involved in "activities to the detriment" of the NATO member state.

"This was yet another confirmation that Warsaw is consciously pursuing a course toward further degradation and destruction of our bilateral relations," the Russian ministry said.

"Through the efforts of the Polish authorities in recent years, contacts with Russia have been virtually frozen, a shameful war with Soviet monuments has been launched, attempts are being made to torpedo Russian energy projects, a large-scale anti-Russian information campaign is being carried out, history is being falsified, anti-Russian sanctions by the West are endlessly prolonged," the ministry added.

The latest development comes amid growing tensions between Russia and Western-aligned governments in central and eastern Europe.

On Tuesday, Russia expelled two Bulgarian diplomats in retaliation for Sofia’s recent expulsion of two Russian diplomats over alleged espionage activities.

Over a similar allegation, the Czech Republic on Saturday asked 18 Russian diplomats to leave. Moscow responded with the expulsion of 20 Czech diplomats.

Russia has denied the allegations against its diplomats.

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