Slovakia expelled three employees of the Russian Embassy in Bratislava on suspicion of espionage. They must leave the country within 72 hours, as their actions violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, said the the Slovak Foreign Ministry.
The Slovak Foreign Ministry did not provide the names of these employees, as well as what exactly they are accused of. At the same time, according to dpa news agency, three Slovak citizens were arrested earlier for alleged espionage in exchange for financial rewards.
On the same day, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said in an interview with Slovakia's Pravda news agency that the measures taken were "just the beginning" and a "clear and consistent" continuation would follow. According to journalists, among those arrested are an employee of the Defense Ministry of Slovakia, an employee of the Slovak intelligence service SIS (Slovenská informačná služba) and an employee of an unnamed pro-Russian publication.
In the beginning of March, Bulgaria announced the expulsion of two Russian diplomats accused of espionage. They "carried out unregulated intelligence activities incompatible with their diplomatic status on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria," the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said.
In late February, the United States declared 12 Russian diplomats to the UN personae non grata, explaining that they "abused their privileges of living in the country by participating in espionage activities."
In January, the German Foreign Ministry confirmed that an employee of the Russian Consulate General in Munich was expelled from the country. This happened in the summer of 2021, was later reported by Der Spiegel.
In December 2021, the German Foreign Ministry declared two employees of the Russian Embassy in Germany personae non grata.