Italy will expel 30 Russian diplomats "for national security reasons," reported the newspaper Corriere della Sera, citing the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio.
"At my request, Foreign Ministry Secretary Ettore Francesco Sequi met this morning with Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergei Razov to notify him of the Italian government's decision to expel 30 Russian diplomats, declaring them personae non grata. This measure, taken in coordination with our partners, was necessary for reasons related to our national security," said the minister, who is on a visit to Germany.
After the announcement of the Italian Foreign Minister, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, promised that Moscow would respond to this. "Russia will give an appropriate response to the expulsion [of diplomats] from Italy," TASS quoted her as saying.
On Tuesday, April 5, Denmark announced its intention to expel 15 Russian diplomats. Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod called it a "historic step" and said that the country's authorities decided to expel diplomats to "protect Denmark’s’ security." Zakharova, in response, also promised to take appropriate measures against Danish diplomats in Moscow.
On April 4, France and Germany announced the expulsion of employees of Russian embassies. The French Foreign Ministry has not yet announced exactly how many diplomats will be expelled, but the TV channel BFMTV believes that this measure will affect 30 Russians. The newspaper Le Parisien, citing sources, wrote that 35 diplomats will be expelled.
Paris clarified that the decision was made within the framework of a single European approach. Zakharova promised to give a "decent response”.
On Tuesday, BFMTV reported that the French Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Alexei Meshkov to notify about the expulsion of diplomats.
The German Foreign Ministry said 40 diplomats would be expelled from the country. According to German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbok, these will be diplomats "who worked every day here in Germany against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society." She said that Berlin made this decision after the appearance of photos from the city of Bucha in the Kyiv region.