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Russia announced on Thursday that it was expelling five Portuguese ambassadors in response to the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats, a day after it was announced that similar operations would involve dozens of French, Italian and Spanish ambassadors.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the Portuguese ambassador to Russia had been “summoned” to the ministry’s headquarters on Thursday, “vehemently opposed the Portuguese authorities’ provocative decision to personally consider ten foreign workers in Portugal.”
“In response, five workers at the Portuguese embassy in Russia declared them ‘non-personal Grota’,” he said, adding that they had 14 days to leave the country.
For its part, the Portuguese Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “The Portuguese government opposes this decision issued by the Russian authorities. There is no justification other than a mere response.”
“Unlike the Russian diplomats who were expelled from Portugal, the Portuguese ambassadors carried out purely diplomatic activities in full compliance with the Vienna Convention,” he added.
On Wednesday, Moscow announced the expulsion of 34 French diplomats, 27 Spanish diplomats and 24 Italian ambassadors, and decided to launch a Russia-Ukraine war on February 24 in response to similar measures taken by these countries.
Many European countries, including Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, Greece and Croatia, have expelled Russian ambassadors. In some cases, these evictions were accompanied by allegations of espionage.
Moscow promised to respond to each of these actions, and dozens of Western ambassadors were expelled from Russia.
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