The Russian government is kicking several German diplomats out of the country in an alleged tit-for-tat move, its foreign ministry said on Saturday.
“The German authorities have decided on yet another mass expulsion of employees of Russian diplomatic missions in Germany. We strongly condemn these actions of Berlin, which continues to defiantly destroy the entire array of Russian-German relations,” the ministry said in a statement, arguing that Germany’s actions were “hostile.”
The foreign affairs ministry did not specify how many diplomats it would expel, although ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told state-run television Zvezda that Moscow had decided to expel “more than 20,” according to AFP.
Russia said it took the decision in response to Germany ordering a “mass expulsion” of Russian diplomats, without specifying further details. The German foreign ministry confirmed to German outlet Deutschlandfunk only that it had been in contact with Russian authorities regarding personnel questions.
Germany had been informed of the move at the beginning of the month, the Russian foreign ministry added in the statement.
Since the war in Ukraine began, tensions between Moscow and Berlin have increased. In April last year, the German government expelled some 40 Russian diplomats from the country.