• European nations have expelled scores of Russian officials who have been accused of spying.
  • In the wake of Moscow’s incursion on Ukraine, ties involving Russia and the West have entered a cold snap.
  • Cabinet members agreed to take action because of this group’s danger to national security.
  • As a response, Russia fired 10 diplomats from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Europe on High Alert

European nations have expelled scores of Russian officials who have been accused of spying as a response to Russia’s ongoing conflict in Ukraine. 17 Russian intelligence personnel disguised as diplomats have been expelled from the Netherlands, according to the country’s government. The Russian embassy in Brussels has been ordered to expel 21 Russian officials.

As a response to Russia’s “unacceptable” actions, Ireland has ordered four senior Russian diplomats to move out of the country. One Russian ambassador was given 72 hours to depart the Czech Republic.

In the wake of Moscow’s incursion on Ukraine, ties involving Russia and the West have entered a cold snap. Last week, Poland deported 45 Russians it had recognized as intelligence personnel using their official position as a front to conduct operations in the nation.

Names, dates of birth, phone numbers and car number plates also posted in alleged breach of FSB security.

Ready for Retaliation!

After consulting with “several like-minded nations,” including the United States, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Montenegro; the Netherlands on Tuesday stated it had taken its decision in consultation with “several like-minded countries.”

After summoning Russia’s ambassador and informing him of his country’s decision, the Dutch foreign ministry stated in a statement: “The cabinet has decided to do this because the organization poses a danger to national security.”

Ukraine spy agency posts names and addresses of more than 620 ‘Russian agents working for the FSB’.

According to a statement from the Hague-based ministry, “there is evidence… demonstrating that the personnel implicated, who are accredited as diplomats, are surreptitiously operating as intelligence officials.”

Cabinet members agreed to take action because of this group’s danger to national security, the statement said, adding that the Netherlands’ intelligence threat was still high. Wopke Hoekstra, the Dutch foreign minister, said he was ready for Moscow to retaliate.

Moscow’s Response

According to the Russian official, “Experience demonstrates that Russia does not leave such measures unanswered.” While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot predict what could happen shortly, they are prepared for a wide range of possibilities.

Sophie Wilmes, Belgian Foreign Minister, said that Brussels’ decision was planned with the Netherlands and that it was not a punishment. Her statement said that “diplomatic contacts remain open with Russia; the Russian Embassy is still operational, and we continue to promote dialogue.”

Ukraine has published the names and personal details of hundreds of people it claims are Russian agents involved in “criminal activities” in Europe.

As a response to those nations removing Russian embassy staff earlier this month, Russia on Tuesday fired 10 diplomats from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

The accreditation of four Lithuanians, three Latvians, and three Estonians has been revoked by the Russian Foreign Ministry, and they must now leave the country. That’s the same number of Russian diplomats that each nation has already dismissed from their country.

In a show of support for Ukraine, the three Baltic nations ordered the deportation of ten Russian embassy employees on March 18th. Provocative and unfounded, Moscow termed it (Al-Jazeera, 2022).

References

Al-Jazeera. (2022, March 29). Al Jazeera News. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/29/europeans-expel-dozens-of-russian-envoys-to-combat-espionage

 

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