Russia expels seven Danish embassy members in retaliatory measure

Russia expels seven Danish embassy members in retaliatory measure
Russia's foreign ministry claimed Denmark's 'openly anti-Russian policies' result in 'serious damage' to relations between the two countries.
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Russia also said a diplomat of the Danish mission was refused a visa [Getty-file photo]

Russia said on Thursday that seven members of Denmark's Moscow embassy have been declared persona non grata and had two weeks to leave the country.

Russia's foreign ministry said it summoned Danish Ambassador Carsten Sondergaard to inform him of the retaliatory measures following the expulsion of 15 Russian diplomats from Denmark and the country's military aid to Kyiv.

"The kingdom's openly anti-Russian policies cause serious damage to bilateral ties," the foreign ministry in Moscow said in a statement.

Russia reserves the right "to take additional steps in response to Copenhagen's unfriendly actions," the statement said, adding that a diplomat of the Danish mission was also refused a visa as part of the retaliatory measures.

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The Danish foreign ministry said that Russia was expelling seven members of its diplomatic mission, including four diplomats.

In a statement to AFP, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod called the move "a totally unjustified and deeply problematic decision".

"Russia no longer wants real dialogue and diplomacy," he said, noting that Denmark had in fact expelled Russian intelligence agents and not diplomats.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine, launching a brutal invasion on 24 February, the West has expelled dozens of Russian diplomats and Russia retaliated in tit-for-tat moves.