BERLIN, February 8 (Xinhua) – The German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday declared an employee of the Russian embassy in Berlin as persona non grata, in response to Russia’s expulsion of a German diplomat on Friday.
“Russia expelled several EU diplomats, including one from the German embassy. This decision was not justified in any way,” said a statement from the office, adding that the German diplomat only performed his task of reporting developments on the ground in a legal manner.
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday expelled three EU envoys from Germany, Sweden and Poland, saying they took part in unauthorized protests in support of imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny and were considered “personae non gratae” under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations between 18 April 1961
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday that Russia’s expulsion of EU diplomats would further damage Russia’s relations with Europe.