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Moldova expels 45 Russian diplomats, embassy staff

Russian Embassy Chisinau Moldova
The Russian Embassy in Chisinau. Credit: Reuters
Moldova expels 45 Russian diplomats, embassy staff

The Moldovan government has announced that the authorities decided to expel 22 diplomats and 23 representatives of the technical staff of the Russian Embassy.

Moldova’s Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu announced on 26 July that he will cut the number of Russian envoys in the Moldovan capital so that there are “fewer individuals acting to destabilize the situation in our country,” Newsmaker.md reported.

“This decision comes as a result of numerous unfriendly actions toward the Republic of Moldova, unrelated to diplomatic duties, as well as attempts to destabilize the internal situation in our country,” Popescu said.

Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a weekly briefing that Moldova’s decision would “not go unanswered,” calling it “another step in the destruction of bilateral relations” between the countries.

“We regard this as unjustified and unfriendly actions that will not go unanswered. This is another step towards destroying bilateral relations on the part of the Chișinău regime,” Zakharova said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “Russophobia is being encouraged in every possible way now in Moldova.” “But of course, such steps are not left without reciprocity according to diplomatic rules,” Peskov concluded.

The expulsion of Russian embassy staff follows an investigation by The Insider and Moldovan Jurnal TV television station earlier this week, which noted that the number of satellite dishes and communication devices on the grounds of the Russian Embassy in Chișinău is rising. According to the report, there are currently 28 antennas, masts, and transceivers installed on the embassy grounds and on a neighboring building that could have espionage purposes.

Russian embassy rooftop antennas Moldova
Antennas on the roof of the Russian Embassy in Moldova. Credit: The Insider

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