Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Russia Slams Sweden Over Expelled Diplomats
Via The Local: Russia lashed out at Stockholm on Tuesday and confirmed it had expelled a Swedish diplomat in retaliation for one of Moscow's officials being asked to leave the Nordic country. We understand that Russia believes that this is a response action to an official at the Russian embassy in Stockholm recently asked to leave Sweden”, Johan Tegel, a press officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) told Swedish news agency TT late on Monday. The official at the Russian embassy was asked to leave after it emerged that the person engaged in activities that were not consistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an international treaty that outlines the framework for diplomatic relations between independent countries, according to the Swedish Foreign Ministry. According to Tegel, it is too early to say how this will affect the countries’ relationship. “But this decision by the Russian Federation does not improve the state of our relations”, he said. On Tuesday, Russia's foreign ministry hit back, confirming in a statement that it had recently declared a Swedish diplomat 'persona non grata' in a tit-for-tat move after the "hostile actions by the Swedish authorities". "The responsibility for the consequences of this provocation lies squarely with Stockholm," the statement said, according to the AFP news bureau. Elena Namli, professor at the center of Russian Studies at Uppsala University, says that it is not uncommon for countries to react as Russia did.