North Macedonia Expels Russian Diplomat

Politics » DIPLOMACY | May 19, 2021, Wednesday // 12:33
Bulgaria: North Macedonia Expels Russian Diplomat

North Macedonia has declared a diplomat from the Russian embassy in Skopje persona non grata, official sources confirmed for news site MKD.mk.

“In this regard, on  14 May, 2021, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation [Sergei Bazdnikin] was summoned to the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a note was handed instructing the indicated diplomat to leave the territory of Northern Macedonia within seven days,” reads the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

“The behavior of the diplomat was not in accordance with the behavior expected from the host country,” according to an MKD source. 

Diplomatic sources say North Macedonia also took this stance back in 2018 after the poisoning of former Russian agent Skripal and his daughter Julia in the UK, as a sign of solidarity with the UK, as well as with the US and EU. 

Whether the latest case of expulsion is related to certain European countries currently investigating allegations of spy tactics from Russia remains uncertain, MKD concluded. 

North Macedonia President Stevo Pendarovski said the diplomatic move was related to “sensitive topics”. 

“Based on what I saw, the case was documented by the competent institutions, it was not improvisation,” Pendarovski said.

The Russian embassy in Skopje told local media that it would consider “reciprocal measures”. 

This is the second time that North Macedonia has expelled a Russian diplomat. In March 2018, the country expelled an unnamed Russian diplomat, citing domestic security reasons and solidarity with Britain over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain which the U.K. has accused Russia of being behind.

 

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Tags: N. Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, Russian diplomat, persona non grata

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