Russian diplomat asked to leave Sweden in tit-for-tat move

2021-02-09 03:35:39 GMT2021-02-09 11:35:39(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Video PlayerClose

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Sweden has expelled a Russian diplomat in response of Moscow's declaration of a Swedish diplomat "persona non-grata" last week.

"We have informed the Russian Ambassador that a person from the Russian embassy is asked to leave Sweden. This is a clear response to the unacceptable decision to expel a Swedish diplomat who was only performing his duties," Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde announced in a tweet on Monday.

Together with colleagues from Germany and Poland, the Swedish diplomat was seen connected with a demonstration in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in the city of St. Petersburg on Jan. 23.

Claiming the three foreign diplomats had participated in the protest and thereby committing "illegal actions," Moscow on Friday declared them "personae non gratae" in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and expelled them.

Sweden, Poland and Germany said they were merely there as observers. All three countries have now announced they have expelled Russian diplomats in response. Enditem