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Russia Expels Several American Diplomats, Declares Them 'Persona Non Grata': State Department

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to deliver his speech at the concert marking the eighth anniversary of the referendum on the state status of Crimea and Sevastopol and its reunification with Russia, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 18, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to deliver his speech at the concert marking the eighth anniversary of the referendum on the state status of Crimea and Sevastopol and its reunification with Russia, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 18, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

After the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, the war of words and sanctions have intensified between the two countries

Russia has expelled several American diplomats from the US Embassy in Moscow and declared them “persona non grata”, a State Department spokesperson has said, days after the US ousted Russian staff at the United Nations. Earlier this month, the US expelled 12 diplomats from Russia’s mission to the UN, saying they engaged in espionage activities. The move was described by Russia as a hostile action and gross violation of the commitments by the US as the host country of the United Nations headquarters.

“We can confirm that the US Embassy received a list of diplomats declared “persona non grata” from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 23, a State Department spokesperson said on Wednesday. After the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, the war of words and sanctions have intensified between the two countries.

The US has imposed severe sanctions against Russia. This includes individual and economic. Russia too has imposed sanctions against US officials, including President Joe Biden. This is Russia’s latest unhelpful and unproductive step in our bilateral relationship. We call on the Russian government to end its unjustified expulsions of US diplomats and staff, the spokesperson said.

Now more than ever, it is critical that our countries have the necessary diplomatic personnel in place to facilitate communication between our governments,” the spokesperson said.

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first published:March 24, 2022, 10:04 IST