Russia expels two German diplomats in tit-for-tat move

German foreign ministry says the expulsion is completely unfounded and puts renewed strain on the relationship between the two countries



A court official stands outside the courtroom at the 'Tiergarten murder' trial in Berlin on  December15. More than two years after the fatal shooting of a Georgian of Chechen descent in the middle of Berlin, a 56-year-old Russian has been sentenced to life in prison. — AP
A court official stands outside the courtroom at the "Tiergarten murder" trial in Berlin on December15. More than two years after the fatal shooting of a Georgian of Chechen descent in the middle of Berlin, a 56-year-old Russian has been sentenced to life in prison. — AP

By Agencies

Published: Mon 20 Dec 2021, 7:52 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Dec 2021, 7:57 PM

Russia on Monday said it was expelling two German diplomats in retaliation for similar expulsions by Germany.

Berlin last week expelled two Russian diplomats after a German court found Moscow had ordered the killing of a former Chechen militant, who was murdered in broad daylight in a Berlin park.

Russia denied any wrongdoing.

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German foreign ministry said the expulsion of diplomats is completely unfounded and puts renewed strain on the relationship between the two countries.

“This move comes as no surprise, but it is completely unwarranted from the federal government’s perspective,” Germany’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Today’s decision by Russia’s Foreign Ministry puts renewed strain on the relationship,” it added.

Judges at Berlin’s regional court on Wednesday convicted 56-year-old Vadim Krasikov of killing Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili, a 40-year-old Georgian citizen of Chechen ethnicity. They ruled that Krasikov had acted on the orders of Russian federal authorities, who provided him with a false identity, a fake passport and the resources to carry out the killing.

The brazen daylight hit near Berlin’s Kleiner Tiergarten park on Aug. 23, 2019 sparked outrage in Berlin and prompted the German government to expel two other Russian diplomats at the time — a move Russia swiftly reciprocated.

Following the court’s decision, Germany expelled two more Russian diplomats with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock calling the state-ordered killing a “grave breach of German law and the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany".

Moscow has angrily rejected the Berlin court’s verdict and the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the German ambassador Monday to inform him about the diplomats’ expulsion in what it said was a “symmetrical response to the unfriendly decision by the German government".

The ministry warned that Russia will continue to respond in kind to any “potential confrontational moves by Berlin".


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