Russia expels Swedish diplomat in tit-for-tat response


MOSCOW, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — Russia has expelled a senior Swedish diplomat here in retaliation for the expulsion of a Russian diplomat in Stockholm, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

“The Foreign Ministry has declared an employee of the Swedish Embassy in Moscow a non-grata person,” the ministry said in an online statement.

The move was made in response to Sweden’s “unfriendly acts” against a Russian diplomat in Stockholm, the statement said.

Sweden had earlier expelled a Russian diplomat for “behavior inconsistent with diplomacy in line with the Vienna Convention.”

Russia said it has been bewildered by the Swedish side’s deliberations about the negative impact of the event on bilateral relations, as Moscow believed Stockholm should be responsible for the potential consequences of the “provocative step.”

In a statement made in Stockholm, the Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed one of its high-ranking diplomats had been expelled from Russia, saying the envoy was expelled for “acts improper to his post and status.”

The names of the expelled diplomats were not disclosed, nor were the dates of their expulsions.

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