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Poland expels 45 Russian diplomats

Poland expelled 45 Russian diplomats, arguing that they were spying, while Russia’s ambassador denied the allegations.

“We dismantled the network of Russian agents in our country. Poland expelled 45 Russian spies working under the guise of diplomats,” Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said in a statement today.

Russia’s Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreyev confirmed the expulsion, telling reporters that the people involved were asked to leave Poland within five days. “There is no reason for this kind of accusation,” he said, stressing that Russia had the right to take retaliatory measures.

However, Ambassador Andreyev also emphasized that bilateral diplomatic relations are maintained. “The embassy is still operating, the ambassador is still here,” he added.

Polish President Andrzej Duda visits the Ukraine-Polish border on March 4.  Photo: Reuters.

Polish President Andrzej Duda visits the Ukraine-Polish border on March 4. Photo: Reuters.

Earlier, the Polish counterintelligence service had compiled a list of 45 Russians and sent it to the Polish Foreign Ministry. The agency also “arrested a Polish national on suspicion of spying for Russian agents”.

Relations between Moscow and Warsaw are strained because of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. On March 21, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev warned Poland would pay a heavy price for the “anti-Russian syndrome”. Medvedev was referring to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s earlier decision to reduce the country’s dependence on Russian energy sources and cut economic ties with Moscow in protest of military operations in Ukraine.

Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki is expected to propose deploying peacekeepers to Ukraine during the NATO summit on March 24. The event was organized by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, as well as the defense and deterrence capabilities of the military alliance.

Conflict in Ukraine There seems to be no sign of abating after almost 4 weeks Russia launched a military campaign. Russia continued its efforts to lay siege to major Ukrainian cities, while President Zelensky announced his determination not to surrender before the ultimatum.

Hong Hanho (Based on AFP)

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