Netherlands, Belgium expel 38 Russian diplomats

Netherlands, Belgium expel 38 Russian diplomats Source. Netherlands Government

The Netherlands and Belgium have followed a number of other European countries as they expel 38 Russian diplomats over espionage and security concerns,

The Sputnik News Agency quoted RTBF who on Tuesday March 29th said that Belgium had given 21 Russian diplomats their marching orders.

On the same day Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced the expulsion of 17 diplomats from the Netherlands.

He is quoted as saying: “The Netherlands is expelling 17 Russian intelligence agents working in Russian missions in the Netherlands under diplomatic cover.” He continued saying that the diplomats being expelled “pose a security threat.”

The announcement comes days after Poland expelled 45 Russian diplomats over charges of espionage and the US expelled 12 Russian diplomats from the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York as well as a Russian employee of the UN Secretariat.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, had warned then that Russia could retaliate against Poland and any other country that took similar actions. That threat was echoed by the Russian Foreign Ministry who said on March 23 that it would expel US diplomats from Moscow.

The war in Ukraine has heightened security concerns in a number of countries, many of who are now taking steps eradicate those diplomats who they believe to be a security threat or they believe are involved in non-diplomatic activities.

With the war in Ukraine still ongoing countries such as Netherlands and Belgium will continue to take a tough line of, which could see them expel more Russian diplomats.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]