European Union states have been expelling Russian diplomats since early March in response to the Russian invasion. The countries that decided to undertake such extreme measures cited reasons such as activities related to espionage, unlawful influence peddling, working for the Russian secret service and breaches of diplomatic norms for expulsion. The war crimes perpetrated by Russia like “the Bucha massacre” were also referenced.
April 7, Austria expels four Russian diplomats
Austria is expelling four Russian diplomats for “behaviour incompatible with their diplomatic status”, a foreign ministry spokesperson has said. The country joined a group of EU member States that have taken similar action this week.
The three diplomats working at Russia’s embassy in Vienna and one based in Salzburg must leave Austria by Tuesday.
Unlike those other EU countries – including France, Italy, Lithuania and Germany – the spokesperson did not mention Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a reason for the move. The phrase “inconsistent with diplomatic status” is usually used to refer to spying.
While some EU countries have expelled dozens of Russian diplomats, Austria is declaring “personae non gratae” only a tiny fraction of the Russian diplomats based on its soil. Austria’s Foreign Ministry lists 65 diplomats as working at the Russian embassy. That does not include dozens of others working at the missions to the UN in Vienna and to the OSCE.
The number is unusually high because Vienna is home to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and to a United Nations centre that includes UN agencies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Larger countries including Russia, therefore, have three ambassadors in Vienna – one to Austria and one each to the UN organisations and the OSCE.
April 6, Greece and Norway expel 15 Russian diplomats
“The Greek authorities declared 12 members of the Diplomatic and Consular Missions of the Russian Federation, who are accredited to Greece, as personae non gratae,” the Greek Foreign Ministry announced in a press release.
The Greek authorities declared 12 members of the Diplomatic and Consular Missions of the Russian Federation, who are accredited to Greece, as personae non gratae
Statement➡️https://t.co/DBEcoAkZmD https://t.co/vVG7CDqldZ pic.twitter.com/2YLxAhUnM2
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) April 6, 2022
“Norway has decided to declare three diplomats at Russia’s embassy in Oslo persona non grata. The three individuals have carried out activities that are incompatible with their diplomatic status”, Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said.
Norway declares three Russian diplomats persona non gratahttps://t.co/Z86ZIGyeyd pic.twitter.com/PQpyecZUXO
— Norway MFA (@NorwayMFA) April 6, 2022
April 5, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Latvia and the EU’s diplomatic service have expelled approximately 120 Russian diplomats
“Denmark will expel 15 Russian intelligence officers working at the Russian embassy in Copenhagen. They pose a threat to our national security,” the Danish Foreign Minister wrote on Twitter.
Denmark will expel 15 Russian intelligence officers working at the Russian embassy in Copenhagen. They pose a threat to our national security. It’s in our mutual interests to maintain diplomatic ties, but we will not accept Russian espionage on Danish soil. #dkpol
— Jeppe Kofod (@JeppeKofod) April 5, 2022
“This morning, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Ettore Francesco Sequi, on the instructions of Minister Luigi Di Maio, summoned at the Farnesina the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Italy, Sergey Razov, to notify him of the Italian Government’s decision to expel 30 Russian diplomats,” the Italian Foreign Ministry wrote in a press release.
The Slovenian Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that it informed “the Russian Ambassador of its decision to reduce the number of members of the diplomatic and administrative-technical staff of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in accordance with Article 11 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
[email protected] expressed the harshest protest at the killings of ?? civilians in #Bucha & elsewhere, and informed the Russian Ambassador of #Slovenia's decision to reduce staff of the ?? Embassy as per Art. 11 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
? https://t.co/1XhOyhrKEB pic.twitter.com/v0iHf09Vsd
— MFA Slovenia (@MZZRS) April 5, 2022
According to Reuters “Spain will expel some 25 Russian diplomats and embassy staff from Madrid, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said.”
The Latvian Foreign Ministry announced that the diplomatic staff of the Russian General Consulates in Daugavpils and Liepāja are declared personae non grata.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia has taken a decision to close the Consulates General of the #Russian Federation in #Daugavpils and #Liepāja. The diplomatic staff of those Consulates General are declared personae non grata in #Latvia.
➡️ https://t.co/5SyCnRIbYC pic.twitter.com/YCqsScnJU1
— Latvian MFA ?? | #StandWithUkraine ?? (@Latvian_MFA) April 5, 2022
“Based on the decision by High Representative Josep Borrell, 19 members of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the EU in Brussels have been declared personae non-gratae for engaging in activities contrary to their diplomatic status,” the European Union’s External Action Service wrote in a press release.
19 members of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the EU in Brussels have been declared personae non-gratae for engaging in activities contrary to their diplomatic status. EU acts in response to these members illegal & disruptive actions ⬇️https://t.co/nqyAYXc4sP
— European External Action Service – EEAS ?? (@eu_eeas) April 5, 2022
April 4, “the Bucha massacre” aftermath
After the world learnt about “the Bucha Massacre” in which Russian soldiers killed more than 300 Ukrainian civilians trying to flee the country, a number of European countries have consequently decided to expel Russian diplomats. Germany has expelled 40 Russian diplomats, France 35, while Lithuania decided to expel the Russian ambassador.
“The Federal Government has therefore decided today to declare persona non grata a significant number of members of the Russian Embassy who have worked against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society, day after day here in Germany,” the German Foreign Minister said.
“France has decided this evening to expel many Russian personnel posted in France under diplomatic status, whose activities are counter to our security interests,” the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs spokesperson wrote in a statement.
#Russia | France has decided this evening to expel many Russian personnel posted in France under diplomatic status, whose activities are counter to our security interests.
This action is part of a European movement.
? Read our statement : https://t.co/Wqw5Dn40DB pic.twitter.com/c8boNJ64A5
— France Diplomacy???? (@francediplo_EN) April 4, 2022
“On 4 April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania announced its decision to lower the level of diplomatic representation with the Russian Federation,” the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry wrote in a press release.
Today MFA of Lithuania announced its decision to lower the level of diplomatic representation with the Russian Federation – the ambassador of Russia to #Lithuania ?? will have to leave the country.
Read the full press release ? https://t.co/DMKcnFsGzm
We #StandWithUkraine ??. pic.twitter.com/Isrc3BnPi9
— Lithuania MFA | #StandWithUkraine (@LithuaniaMFA) April 4, 2022
On March 29, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Ireland expelled 43 Russian diplomats
Belgium has expelled 21 Russian diplomats for alleged spying and posing a threat to security, Belgian Foreign Minister, Sophie Wilmes said in parliament.
A similar decision has been made in Ireland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Ireland expelled four senior Russian officials because of actions considered not in accordance with international standards of diplomatic behaviour. The Netherlands expelled 17 Russian embassy employees, describing them as intelligence officers, while the Czech Republic expelled one member of the diplomatic staff at Russia’s embassy in Prague.
Additionally, Ireland has asked four senior Russian diplomats to leave because their activities are not in accordance with the international standards.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 29, 2022
On March 23, Poland expelled 45 Russian diplomats
“Poland, in coordination with its allies, has made a decision to significantly reduce the diplomatic staff of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Poland. In total, 45 people will leave,” the Polish Foreign Ministry wrote on social media.
? Poland, in coordination with its allies, has made a decision to significantly reduce the diplomatic staff of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Poland. In total, 45 people will leave ?? – MFA Spokesperson @RzecznikMSZ at today's press conference. pic.twitter.com/ly6ggdoZFG
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs ?? (@PolandMFA) March 23, 2022
On March 18, Baltic states and Bulgaria expelled 20 Russian diplomats
“Latvia expels three Russian Embassy employees in connection with activities that are contrary to their diplomatic status and taking into account ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine. The decision has been coordinated with Lithuania and Estonia,” the Latvian Foreign Minister wrote on social media.
#Latvia expells three Russian Embassy employees in connection with activities that are contrary to their diplomatic status and taking into account ongoing Russian aggression in #Ukraine. The decision has been coordinated with #Lithuania and #Estonia
— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) March 18, 2022
The same day, Bulgaria announced it would expel 10 Russian diplomats.
On March 14, Slovakia expelled three Russian diplomats
“Based on the evaluation of the Slovak intelligence services, the Slovak Republic has decided today to expel three workers from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Slovak Republic for their activities in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. These persons must leave the territory of the Slovak Republic within 72 hours,” Slovakia’s Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement.
March 4, Montenegro declares one Russian diplomat persona non grata
The first country to expel a Russian diplomat in light of the Russian-Ukrainian war was Montenegro. The country declared a Russian embassy employee persona non grata on March 4, saying that the actions undertaken by the diplomat “are in contradiction to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”.
On February 28, US began the process of expulsion
“The U.S. has informed the Russian Mission that we are beginning the process of expelling 12 intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission who have abused their privileges of residency in the U.S. by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security,” the US mission to the UN spokesperson announced on Twitter.
— U.S. Mission to the UN (@USUN) February 28, 2022