Ukraine, Russia expel diplomats amid diplomatic crisis

Ukrainian News
Canan Kevser
27 April 2021, 17:45
Олег Ніколенко
Canan Kevser
27 April 2021, 17:45

Ukraine on Tuesday declared another Russian diplomat as 'persona non grata' against Russia's move to expel Ukrainian diplomat in Moscow.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expressed a strong protest due to the announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia of the employee of the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow as "persona non grata."

Ukraine's MFA strongly protested against the declaring of its embassy worker in Moscow as "persona non grata" by the Russian Foreign Ministry. In response, the MFA of Ukraine declared the consul of the General Consulate of Russia in Odesa as an undesirable person to stay on the territory of Ukraine, Spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko said.

According to the note, the undesirable Russian diplomat must leave the territory of Ukraine by the end of the day on April 30, 2021.

"If the Russian side continues to provoke against employees of diplomatic missions of Ukraine in Russia, we reserve the right to take further action in response," Nikolenko said in a comment published on Ministry's website.

He emphasised that the decision of the Russian Foreign Ministry grossly violates the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 and established diplomatic practice.

"We consider such a step as a continuation of the anti-Ukrainian campaign launched in the Russian Federation and another manifestation of unfriendly actions against employees of diplomatic missions of Ukraine," Nikolenko added.

The Ministry completely rejected what it called "unsubstantiated allegations" that the Ukrainian diplomat allegedly engaged in activities incompatible with diplomatic status. "The employee of the Embassy of Ukraine in Moscow did not carry out any actions that would go beyond his diplomatic and consular functions," it added.

Background

On Monday, April 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation declared an employee of the Embassy of Ukraine in Moscow "persona non grata" and ordered the diplomat to leave the country by the end of April 30.

Earlier on April 17, Russia's FSB (Federal Security Service) said that it detained the consul of Ukraine's Consulate General Oleksandr Sosoniuk in St. Petersburg for allegedly receiving confidential information from law enforcement and FSB databases, and announced that Sosoniuk's presence in Russia was undesirable.

In response to the provocation, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent a note declaring a counselor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kyiv persona non grata in connection with activities incompatible with his diplomatic status.