Russia has expelled 5 Polish diplomats, in response to the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats from the United States and three from Poland.
Earlier Friday, Russia said it plans to expel 13 diplomats from America and Poland, according to the Russian Interfax news agency, citing Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
On Thursday, a Russian official confirmed that Moscow would expel three Polish diplomats in response to a similar measure taken by Warsaw.
Russia’s confirmation was quoted by the Russian Interfax news agency, according to the Deputy Head of International Affairs of the State Duma, after Poland expelled 3 Russian diplomats on the background of “hostile acts.”
Poland announced that 3 Russian diplomats, employees of the Russian embassy in Warsaw, were “persona non grata”, expressing solidarity with similar steps taken by Washington on Thursday.
A statement by the Polish Foreign Ministry stated that the three diplomats were expelled as punishment for violating the conditions of their diplomatic status and for committing acts harmful to Poland.
The US government imposed diplomatic and financial sanctions against Russian officials and entities, and thus it held Moscow responsible for a range of violations ranging from interference in the US elections to the annexation of Crimea.
In a statement by the Polish foreign ministry, Warsaw expressed its “full solidarity” with the US decisions.
“The decisions of the allies, when taken together, are the most appropriate response to Russia’s hostilities,” the ministry said.