Russia Expels Romanian Diplomat In Tit-For-Tat Move

Russia has announced the expulsion of the Romanian Embassy’s deputy military attache in response to Bucharest’s decision to expel a Russian diplomat.

Romania’s ambassador to Russia, Cristian Istrate, was summoned on May 11 to the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow where he “was given a note from the ministry declaring Captain G. Iliescu, aide to the military attache at the Romanian Embassy, persona non grata,” the ministry said in a statement.

Iliescu has 72 hours to leave Russia, the statement said, adding that the decision was made “in response to the unfounded declaration of an aide to the military attache at the Russian Embassy in Bucharest persona non grata on April 26.”

Romania late last month expelled the deputy military attache at the Russian Embassy in Bucharest for activities incompatible with his diplomatic status. It gave no further reason for the order.

Several other former Soviet bloc countries in Central and Eastern Europe, all of them members of the European Union and NATO, have expelled Russian diplomats last month, triggering reciprocal measures by Moscow.

The series of tit-for-tat expulsions began last month when the Czech Republic expelled scores of Russian diplomats over the accusations that Russian spies were involved in a deadly ammunition depot explosion in 2014, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Moscow.

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia — all former Soviet republics — followed in Prague’s steps, expelling Russian diplomats in solidarity with the Czechs. Slovakia and Bulgaria also followed suit.

With reporting by digi24.ro, hotnrews.ro, Reuters, and TASS
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