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Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson threatens German journalists with expulsion

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 5, 2024 1:24 PM 2 min read
Russian Foreign Minstry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova attends an annual news conference in Russia on Jan. 14, 2022. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia is ready to expel German journalists in retaliation for any measures taken against Russian journalists in Germany, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova claimed on March 5, according to state-owned media agency RIA Novosti.  

Tensions between Germany and Russia have risen in recent days following the leak of a conversation between German military officers on March 1.

The recording of the conversation, during which the delivery of Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine and the training of Ukrainian troops were discussed, was published by Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Kremlin-controlled TV channel RT.

"If they touch Russian correspondents," German journalists will be removed from Russia, and the German government knows "about this through diplomatic channels in Berlin," Zakharova claimed.

According to media reports, Germany's Air Force Chief Ingo Gerhartz was among the participants of the conversation, which was alleged to be a preparation for a briefing with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

The publication of the leaked conversation was a "hybrid disinformation attack," Pistorius said. "It's about division."

Calling it "a very serious matter," Scholz vowed that the situation was to be "clarified very carefully, very intensively, and very quickly."

The Russian Foreign Ministry reportedly summoned German Ambassador to Russia Alexander Lambsdorf on March 4 in relation to the leak.

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