In a major development, President Vladimir Putin led Russia has expelled the diplomats from Sweden, Poland and Germany for participating in a rally in support of the incarcerated opposition leader Alexei Navalny, reports The Independent.
Terming the protests which took place in Russia on 23 January as 'unlawful', Russian foreign ministry said that the attendance of the diplomats from the three nations in the protests was "unacceptable and inappropriate".
Russia has declared the diplomats from the three nations as "persona non grata" and they are required to now leave the nation "in the nearest future". It should be noted that Russia's decision was announced after a meeting between Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and the European Union's top diplomat Josep Borrell in Moscow yesterday (5 February).
Slamming the move as unjustified, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called it a show of how affairs in Russia at the moment are "far from the rule of law". Meanwhile, Sweden has rejected the allegation that its diplomat took part in the protests and has said that it reserves the right to take appropriate measures in response.
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