MOSCOW, November 17 (Sputnik) – An employee from the German Embassy in Moscow has been expelled in response to “unfriendly” activity from the German authorities in regard to a Russian employed in an institution in Germany, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department of information said Monday.
“The Russian Foreign Ministry’s department of information confirms the fact of expelling an employee from the German Embassy in Moscow in response to unfriendly actions by the German authorities in regard to an employee from a Russian foreign institution in Germany,” the department said.
A German diplomat left Russia on Saturday after a Russian diplomat working in Bonn was expelled from Germany amid media reports he was a spy. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the deportation was not related to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's upcoming visit to Moscow on Tuesday, in what will be his first trip to Russia since the Ukrainian crisis broke out in February.
Earlier in the day the Russian Foreign Ministry said it had deported a number of Polish diplomats for operating outside their status in response to Poland’s deportation of Russian diplomats. Poland earlier expelled a number of Russian diplomats for the same reason.
These events mark further deterioration in Russia's ties with the European Union following the coup in Ukraine at the beginning of this year and the subsequent referendum in Crimea where Crimean citizens opted for the peninsula to leave Ukrainefor Russia.