Austria expels four Russian diplomats

This includes two diplomats from the Russian Embassy and two diplomats from the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Austria is expelling four Russian diplomats from the country.

“The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria announces its decision to revoke the diplomatic status of four Russian diplomats in Vienna,” the Austrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It is noted that these are two diplomats of the Russian Embassy who “have engaged in acts incompatible with their diplomatic status” and therefore, under Article 9 of the Vienna Convention, were declared persona non grata.

In addition, two diplomats from Russia’s permanent mission to the UN are also subject to expulsion and are also ordered to leave the territory of Austria.  

The four Russian diplomats must leave the territory of Austria no later than a week later, that is, by the end of February 8, 2023. 

As reported, in April 2022, Austria expelled four Russian diplomats who had acted in violation of the Vienna Convention, potentially engaging in espionage activities. 

The announcement of the four Russian diplomats as persona non grata took place in the context of the Austrian president’s visit to Kyiv yesterday. 

At a meeting with President Zelensky, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said that Austria would not send weapons to Ukraine. 

Nevertheless, Alexander Van der Bellen assured Ukraine of solidarity, as the Ukrainian people are fighting for their freedom every day and defending common European values and democracy.

“Therefore, this war concerns us all. Austria is a neutral country, but military neutrality does not mean that we are equally neutral in terms of values. If one state in Europe attacks another, we will never be indifferent to it,”

the Austrian President said.
Other casesĀ 

In late January, Estonia and Latvia expelled Russian ambassadors.

Lithuania already expelled its Russian ambassador in April after reports of atrocities by Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian town of Bucha. 

This Tuesday, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis called on other EU member states to expel their Russian ambassadors, saying that in most cases, Russia’s diplomatic missions are “not diplomatic institutions but propaganda institutions” that “cover up war crimes” and “promote a program of genocide.”

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