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Germany to close four out of five Russian consulates in tit-for-tat move

Germany Russia policy
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Germany to close four out of five Russian consulates in tit-for-tat move

Germany’s Foreign Ministry has announced the closure of four Russian consulates, a move triggered by Russia’s recent decision to cap the number of German diplomats

The German Foreign Ministry has announced the closure of four out of five Russian consulates in Germany. The move was triggered by Moscow’s recent decision to limit the number of German diplomats, a measure that complicates the operations of German consulates in Russia.

Until the end of the year, Russia will be allowed to continue operating only one embassy and one consulate in Berlin.

A spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry, quoted by Bild, clarified the decision was a response to the Moscow-imposed ceiling of 350 German diplomats. This constraint forced a cessation of operations of German General Consulates in Kaliningrad, Ekaterinburg, and Novosibirsk. Only the German embassy in Moscow and the consulate general in St. Petersburg will continue to operate.

“This is an ‘escalating’ and ‘unjustified’ decision,” stated the Ministry spokesperson, highlighting the resultant “significant reduction.” Operations at the three German General Consulates will now be curtailed and completely discontinued by November 2023.

Starting from June, Russia will begin to expel German diplomats, teachers, and staff of German cultural institutions. Earlier in April, Russia had announced the expulsion of German diplomats from Moscow and reduction of diplomatic staff in the country in response to actions taken by Germany.

The German Foreign Ministry clarified that the allowed 350 diplomats include staff members of the Goethe Institute and German schools. By the end of the year, Russia will be allowed to continue only the embassy in Berlin and one out of five General Consulates (Bonn, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Munich).

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