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France expels 35 Russian diplomats

France is expelling 35 Russian diplomats over the war in Ukraine, a French diplomatic source said on Monday. The decision echoes a similar action taken by Germany.

“Their actions go against our national security interests. This move (to expel the diplomatic staff) is part of a European initiative. Our primary obligation is to ensure the safety of the French and Europeans,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, Germany decided to declare 40 officials at the Russian embassy undesirable. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that a number of members of the Russian Embassy worked in German every day against freedom, against the cohesion of society. She added that the diplomats were also a threat to those who seek asylum in Germany.

Today Lithuania also announced that it was expelling the Russian ambassador after Ukraine accused Russian forces of killing civilians in the town of Bucha.

Moscow will respond to France’s decision to expel Russian diplomats, the Interfax news agency reported, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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