When Russia expelled diplomats from Germany, Sweden and Poland, the three countries rose up side by side with “Russian diplomats.”
Russia took retaliatory measures when diplomats from three countries ordered their deportation, claiming that they had participated in illegal protests calling for the release of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny. The level of conflict between Russia and European countries appears to be increasing over Navalny.
On the eighth (local time), the German Foreign Ministry announced that it had appointed one employee of the Russian Embassy in Berlin as a “persona non grata” (an elusive diplomatic person). It is customary to summon a diplomat or deny him his diplomatic post if he is notified of a non-diplomatic person.
As Swedish Foreign Minister Anne Linde said on the same day, “I have informed the Russian ambassador that a member of the Swedish embassy has left.” The Polish Foreign Ministry also revealed the deportation of Russian diplomats in response to the deportation of its diplomats.
Earlier in the fifth day, the Russian Foreign Ministry classified German, Swedish and Polish diplomats as diplomatic elusive figures and issued a deportation order.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said, “The Swedish ambassador, the Polish ambassador and the German general office were summoned to protest against the participation of diplomats from the Consulate General and the embassy on the 23rd of last month.” And he asked them to leave Russia as soon as possible, “This behavior is unacceptable and does not correspond to the diplomatic situation.”
Accordingly, the three countries protested, saying that diplomats had lawfully collected field information in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The fifth day was the day Joseph Borrell, the European Union’s chief representative for foreign affairs and security policy, discussed the Navalny case with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “The Russian government should release Navalny and transparently investigate the alleged poisoning attempt,” Borrell said.
However, Minister Ravrov confronted, “We cannot accept the European Union’s intervening demands.”
According to the state-run Russian News Agency, after returning to Brussels, Belgium on the seventh, Mr. Borrell said: “The results of this visit show that Russia is not interested in improving relations with the European Union.”
Then he pressed Russia by discussing the sanctions cards. “We will discuss this issue at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers (scheduled for the 22nd), and the member states’ decision may include Russian sanctions,” Borrell said.
Navalny was sentenced to steadfast President Vladimir Putin on probation in 2014, tried for non-fulfillment of his obligations and sentenced to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment on the second day.
In response, Navalny said it was “personal political revenge on Putin.” Navalny also criticized Putin head-on, saying, “No matter how much he tries to portray himself as a great world leader, he will go down in history as a poisoned killer.”
Later, Western countries such as the United States and the European Union demanded Navalny’s release. In Russia, protests demanded Navalny’s release, and police arrested more than 5,000 people.
Earlier, Navalni went into a coma with poisoning symptoms while traveling on a Russian domestic flight in August of last year. After that, he was transferred to a German hospital for treatment and regained consciousness.
Navalny claims that a toxic team of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), a Russian intelligence agency, attempted to assassinate him, and indicated that President Putin was behind the assassination order.
Correspondent Seo Eugene [email protected]