Moscow & Kiev Engage In Tit-For-Tat Diplomatic Expulsions Despite Troop Draw Down

Moscow & Kiev Engage In Tit-For-Tat Diplomatic Expulsions Despite Troop Draw Down

Last week’s Russian troop draw down from Crimea and near the border with Ukraine was “welcomed” by Kiev officials, however the diplomatic war continues. 

On Tuesday Ukraine’s foreign ministry declared a Russian diplomat in the city of Odessa persona non grata, giving the chief of consul there just days to leave the country. Ukraine says the move is in response to Russia’s own expulsion of a Ukrainian diplomat on Monday. This latest spat comes after a wave of tit-for-tat expulsions this month.

“In response, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry declares Russia’s consul general in Odessa persona non grata. He must leave Ukraine until the end of day on April 30, 2021,” the Ukraine Foreign Ministry statement reads.

Image via NPR

It underscored Ukraine is strongly protesting the Kremlin’s initial move, rejecting “accusations that the Ukrainian diplomat was involved in activities incompatible with his diplomatic status.”

Both sides are vowing more expulsions to come on the principle of reciprocity and amid vague accusations of spying

The move came after Ukraine last week expelled a Russian diplomat in response to Moscow’s order for a Ukrainian consul in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg to leave the country.

According to Russia’s security agency, the consul was trying to obtain sensitive information from a Russian national.

This diplomatic battle is further seeping into other Eastern European countries, predictably with NATO and NATO-friendly countries expressing “solidarity” with others by booting Russian officials.

The Moscow Times reviews of the escalating situation:

Romania on Monday said it was removing a Russian diplomat in solidarity with the Czech Republic, which recently ordered out 18 Russian embassy staff over a deadly explosion at an ammunition depot in 2014.

Russia earlier Monday expelled an Italian naval attache responding to a similar move by Rome last month in the fallout of a spying scandal.

Meanwhile in Italy…

Russia says it is expelling an Italian diplomat as a reponse to “unfriendly” removal of two Russian officials from Rome over espionage scandalhttps://t.co/6LHjSoY3dG

— WION (@WIONews) April 26, 2021

All of this strongly suggests the crisis centered in eastern Ukraine is far from over, and that it’s entirely possible Russia could once again respond to heightened fighting in war-torn Donbass by a troop build-up near the border, putting it on collision course with the US and NATO.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 04/27/2021 – 09:50

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