9 European Nations Expel Russian Spies With Diplomatic Cover
More European countries are expelling Russian diplomats as part of the fallout from Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Nicola Ruotolo, Alex Hardie and Niamh Kennedy reported for CNN.
Photo Insert: Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio with Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba
Italy has expelled 30 Russian diplomats for "national security" reasons, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in Berlin on Tuesday.
The decision "taken in agreement with other European and Atlantic partners" was needed for "reasons related to our national security, in the context of the current crisis resulting from the unjustified aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation," Di Maio said.
"Italy is available to act as a guarantor of security and peace in Ukraine and we will do whatever it takes to carry out this work."
Spain is expelling “about 25 Russian diplomats and embassy staff who represent a threat to the security interests of our country,” Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Tuesday in Madrid. The expulsions also “come after the terrible actions in recent days in Ukraine, especially in Bucha,” Albares said.
Sweden has expelled three Russian diplomats for carrying out intelligence operations in the country in breach of diplomatic relations, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said in Stockholm on Tuesday, condemning "war crimes committed by Russia" in reference to scenes from Bucha, Li Lian, Ahlskog Hou, Benjamin Brown, Amy Cassidy, and Al Goodman also reported for CNN.
Latvia announced Tuesday that it was closing two Russian consulates and expelling staff, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday. The Russian ambassador to Latvia was told that the consulates in the cities of Daugavpils and Liepāja must close and that their staff must leave the country by the end of the month.
Estonia has said it will shut down both Russian consulates in the country and expel 14 staff in light of the atrocities. Several European countries – including France, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands – also decided to expel Russian diplomats. Denmark said Tuesday it has expelled 15 alleged Russian intelligence officers it claims were working undercover as diplomats.