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Germany orders closure of 4 out of 5 Russian consulates after Moscow expels German staff

by Martin Fornusek May 31, 2023 4:24 PM 1 min read
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The German government told Russia to close four out of its five consulates in Germany in retaliation for Moscow’s expulsion of German staff in Russia, the Associated Press reported on May 31.

According to the German Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Christofer Burger, this move will create a “parity of personnel and structures” between the two countries.

Berlin announced on May 27 that Russia set a limit of 350 on the staff of Germany’s mission in the country, ordering hundreds of Germans working in educational and cultural sectors to leave by June.

This measure is to affect German diplomats, teachers, and the staff of the Goethe Institute in Russia.

Burger said this effectively means the closure of German consulates in the Russian cities of Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, and Kaliningrad by November, leaving only the embassy in Moscow and the consulate in St. Petersburg operational.

This is not the first such move by either Moscow or Berlin, as both countries have already expelled a number of diplomats since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Most recently in April, Germany expelled several Russian “diplomatic staff” members on suspicions of espionage, leading Moscow to expel over 20 German diplomats in retaliation.

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