Germany and France have announced the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats between them, in growing outrage over images of atrocities allegedly committed by Russian troops in Bucha, the town near kyiv.
Germany must expel 40 Russian diplomats from Berlin. The individuals are said to be Russian intelligence agents.
Annalena Baerbock, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday that Bucha’s images “testify to the incredible brutality of the Russian leadership and those who follow his propaganda, to a will to destruction that transcends all borders”.
Baerbock said the government had decided to declare a large number of Russian diplomats personae non gratae, and that the targeted individuals had “worked every day against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society”.
“Their work is a threat to those seeking protection here,” Baerbock said. “We will not tolerate this any longer,” she continued, and the message was delivered to the Russian ambassador in Berlin on Monday afternoon.
The French Foreign Ministry said on Monday evening that France had decided to expel “many” Russians with diplomatic status “whose activities are contrary to our security interests”, in line with a broader action by the French government. EU against representatives of Moscow. He gave no further details on names or numbers.
A French official said about 35 Russians were being expelled.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow would “react to this hostile act by the German political machine”, according to Interfax.
Baerbock said, “We must counter this inhumanity with the strength of our freedom and our humanity,” she said. “But we also have to make it clear that we will defend our freedom and we must be ready to defend it.”
Additional reporting by Max Seddon in Riga