Russia expels five Swedish diplomats in retaliatory move

File photo: CGTN

MOSCOW, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia has declared five diplomats working at the Swedish Embassy in Moscow persona non grata in a tit-for-tat-move, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The ambassador of Sweden Malena Mard was summoned to the ministry, and was notified that Moscow had decided to expel five Swedish diplomats, including three employees working at the defense attache office at the Swedish Embassy in Moscow, the ministry said.

It said the decision was a response to Sweden's expulsion of five Russian diplomats earlier, adding that this hostile move further aggravated the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The five diplomats must leave Russia by the same deadline Sweden sets for the departure of Russian diplomats, according to the ministry.

The ambassador was also informed about Russia's decision to terminate the activities of Russia's Consulate General in Gothenburg from Sept. 1, 2023. And also from September 1, 2023, Russia withdraws its consent to the activities of the Swedish Consulate General in St. Petersburg.

Sweden expelled five employees working at the Russian Embassy in Sweden on April 25. The Swedish Foreign Ministry said the diplomats engaged in activities that were reportedly "incompatible with their diplomatic status."