Russia has declared two German diplomats personae non gratae. Monday’s move was intended as a response to a similar decision taken by Germany last week, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow explained.
Moscow’s response comes just days after it promised to retaliate after Berlin expelled two Russian diplomats last Wednesday. Reacting to the news, Germany’s foreign ministry described Moscow’s decision as “unfounded,” adding that the expulsion was likely to further strain bilateral relations.
Berlin showed two Russian diplomats the door after a German court had sentenced a Russian national to life in prison over the murder of a Chechen separatist, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, in 2019. Khangoshvili had been wanted in Russia on multiple charges. Three years prior, he had moved to Germany and applied for asylum there.
After Khangoshvili was fatally shot in Berlin’s Tiergarten park, the German authorities were quick to point the finger at Moscow. Russia has denied any involvement in the murder.
Commenting on the Wednesday court ruling, Germany’s new foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said the murder was “at the behest of a state,” and called it “a blatant violation of German law and sovereignty.” In response, Russian Ambassador Sergey Nechaev denounced the German court’s verdict as “politically motivated” and “biased.”
A statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on Monday dismissed the court’s claims of Moscow’s involvement in the crime as “baseless and divorced from reality.”
https://ift.tt/3e9aR7d 20, 2021 at 08:30PM
from RT – Daily news