Slovakia is to expel three staff from the Russian embassy in the capital, Bratislava, with local media reporting it is related to the murder of a Georgian man in Berlin last year.
Authorities cited the abuse of Slovak visas as reason for the expulsions.
Germany has accused Russia of ordering the murder of the former Chechen rebel Zelimkhan Khangoshvili.
The 40-year-old was shot dead in broad daylight last August in Berlin’s Kleiner Tiergarten park.
A Russian national identified as Vadim K has been charged with the murder.
Why are the diplomats being expelled?
“According to information from the Slovak intelligence services, their activities were in contradiction with the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations,” a Slovak foreign ministry spokesman said.
“On the top of that, there had been an abuse of visas issued at the Slovak general consulate in St Petersburg, and in this connection a serious crime was committed on the territory of another EU and NATO member state,” he said.
Local media, as well as investigative website bellingcat.com, have reported that one of those suspected of planning the murder had travelled to the EU on a Slovak visa.
All three must leave the country by 13 August.
Russia has said it will respond, but did not give any further details.
In December, Germany expelled two Russian diplomats due to suspicions the Kremlin was involved in the murder. Russia responded by expelling two German diplomats.
What’s the accusation?
In June, Germany’s federal prosecutor said Vadim K took the “government order to kill” in the hope of financial reward or because he shared the desire to “kill a political opponent”.
Prosecutors say in August 2019 Vadim K flew from Moscow to Paris and from there to Warsaw, before arriving in Berlin, using a passport under the name Vadim S issued by Russian authorities just a month previously.
On 23 August he allegedly came up behind Khangoshvili on a bicycle and fired a shot into his torso using a silenced Glock 26 pistol. Prosecutors say he then fired two more shots into the victim’s head as he lay on the ground, killing him.
Vadim K was arrested shortly afterwards and has been in pre-trial detention since.
Russia has previously called accusations it was involved in the crime “absolutely groundless” and said it had nothing to do with the death.
When are countries going to learn? Sending a few “diplomats” home will solve nothing. It’s time to close down all terrorist embassies in Europe and the West.
The day after putler invaded Krym, the Kyiv-based director of the British-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce wrote a blog, which unfortunately I did not archive. The BUUCC has since revamped its website and the blog has long since disappeared. What it said was a blueprint for what should follow: immediate expulsion from SWIFT, all commercial flights to and from Russia cancelled, all diplomats expelled, a suspension of diplomatic relations and a suspension of trade and business links.
None of this happened of course and the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce is still going strong. Still with its Patron : HRH Prince Michael of Kent.
This is a FUCKING DISGRACE.