MOSCOW, May 25 (Xinhua) — Russia has declared five diplomats working at the Swedish embassy in Moscow to be personal non grata in one move, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
Sweden’s ambassador Malena Mard was called to the ministry and was told that Moscow had decided to expel five Swedish diplomats, including three employees who work in the defense attaché office at the Swedish embassy in Moscow, the ministry said.
It said the decision was a response to Sweden’s expulsion of five Russian diplomats earlier, adding that this hostile move further worsened the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The five diplomats must leave Russia within the same deadline that Sweden specifies for the departure of Russian diplomats, according to the ministry.
The ambassador was also informed of Russia’s decision to end operations at the Russian Consulate General in Gothenburg from September 1, 2023. And also from September 1, 2023, Russia withdraws its consent to operations at the Swedish Consulate General in St. Petersburg.
Sweden expelled five employees who worked at the Russian embassy in Sweden on April 25. The Swedish Foreign Ministry said the diplomats engaged in activities that were reportedly “incompatible with their diplomatic status”.