By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 18 May 2022 • 19:49
According to a report by Europa Press, Spain’s Ambassador, Marcos Gómez, was called to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was told that Spain must remove the 27 diplomats. According to the report, the expulsion is a direct “protest” by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the expulsion of the same number of Russian diplomats earlier this year.
The Russian government were by all accounts clear that this was a simple reciprocal response to the expulsion of diplomats from the Russian embassy in Madrid.
Sergei Lavrov’s department declared the 27 diplomats persona non grata and gave them seven days to leave Russia once formal notification is received.
Gomez, was reportedly told that the decision to expel the 27 Russian diplomats was seen as a hostile gesture, warning him that “it will have a negative impact on Russian-Spanish relations”.
Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, said that they were expecting retaliatory action after the expulsion of the Russian diplomats since this has happened to every other country that has who has Moscow staff.
Albares has made it clear that “the reasons” for dispelling the diplomats were not the same, and that there was no reason for Spain to remove the staff concerned.
He said the expulsion of the Russian diplomats and the short notice of seven days, was because they represented a threat to the security interests” of Spain. He added the situation in Ukraine was further reason to dispel the diplomats.
It is understood that both France and Italy were also summoned to the Foreign Ministry where they were told that 34 and 24 diplomats would be expelled, each being given seven days to leave.
Spain does not see the expulsion of 27 diplomats as justified, with the Spanish team in Moscow of no threat to Russia or its security.
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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.
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