The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the German ambassador to announce the expulsion of two diplomats; it comes a week after two Russian officials were told to leave Germany. In connection with the murder of a former Chechen commander in Berlin.
“As a retaliatory measure, the Russian side has decided to declare two employees of the German embassy in Russia ‘persona non grata’.” The Russian foreign ministry put out the statement.
A spokeswoman for the German foreign ministry denounced the act. The move “sends the wrong signal and is also unjustified.”
Journalist, Emily Sherwin noted that “both sides are treading carefully.” This is in comparison to the attempted killing of former Russian spy; Sergei Skripal in the UK in 2018. During this time, each country likewise expelled 23 diplomats.
The background to the story
Last week, the German government expelled two Russian diplomats. It said that Russia was not cooperating with an investigation into the killing of the Georgian citizen in August. He was shot in broad daylight; in a park in the German capital’s Moabit neighborhood.
The victim was 40-year-old Zelimkhan Khangoshvili. He had reportedly worked for both Ukrainian and Russian interests after the Second Chechen War (1999 to 2009).