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Russia expels Ukrainian diplomat

Russia, Ukrainian Charge D’Affaires, St. Petersburg, Vasily Pokotilo, Federal Security Service

World

Russia expels Ukrainian diplomat

Russia has expelled Ukrainian Charge D’Affaires Ad Interim in St. Petersburg on allegations of obtaining classified information. Members of the Federal Security Service apprehended a consul of the Ukrainian General Consulate in St. Petersburg upon receiving classified data from the databases of Russian law-enforcement agencies and the FSB, reports TASS.    

The Russian side informed Ukraine’s Charge D’Affaires Ad Interim Vasily Pokotilo about its decision to expel Ukrainian consul in St. Petersburg Alexander Sosonyuk detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) for obtaining law-enforcers’ classified data, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The Ukrainian diplomat must leave Russian territory by April 22, the ministry said.

“The Russian side pointed to the inadmissibility of such activity incompatible with the consular status and damaging the security interests of the Russian Federation. It stated that his stay on Russian territory was undesirable and recommended that he should leave it within 72 hours beginning from April 19,” the statement says.

On April 16, the Federal Security Service apprehended a consul of the Ukrainian General Consulate in St. Petersburg upon receiving classified data from the databases of Russian law-enforcement agencies and the FSB.

As the FSB stressed, “this activity is incompatible with the status of the diplomatic employee and is of clearly hostile nature towards the Russian Federation.”

Russia will apply measures to the apprehended Ukrainian diplomat in accordance with international law, the FSB press office said.

Under international law, diplomats enjoy diplomatic immunity in the countries where they work but can be deprived of the right of staying in the receiving state, if they breach law or commit hostile actions.

As follows from the Vienna Convention, the receiving state may at any time notify the sending state that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata and the diplomat’s stay in the country is not acceptable.

Ukraine preparing counter measures

The Ukrainian side is preparing measures towards Russian diplomats after its consul was detained in St. Petersburg, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin said on Saturday.

“In accordance with the existing practice and pursuant to the reciprocity principle, the Ukrainian side is preparing a response towards Russian diplomats,” Yenin said in an interview with the UNN news agency.

On April 16, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) apprehended a consul of the Ukrainian General Consulate in St. Petersburg for obtaining classified data from the databases of Russian law-enforcement agencies and the FSB.

As the FSB’s press office stressed, “this activity is incompatible with the status of the diplomatic employee and is of clearly hostile nature towards the Russian Federation.”

Russia will apply measures to the apprehended Ukrainian diplomat in accordance with international law, the FSB press office said.

Under international law, diplomats enjoy diplomatic immunity in the countries where they work but can be deprived of the right of staying in the receiving state, if they breach law or commit hostile actions.

As follows from the Vienna Convention, the receiving state may at any time notify the sending state that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff of the mission is persona non grata and the diplomat’s stay in the country is not acceptable.

The Ukrainian consul detained by the FSB in St. Petersburg on April 16 is staying on the territory of the diplomatic mission, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Oleg Nikolenko said on Saturday.

“The Russian law-enforcement agencies detained an employee of the Ukrainian General Consulate in St. Petersburg for several hours. He is now staying in the Ukrainian diplomatic mission. The circumstances of his detention are being clarified. Under the existing practice and pursuant to the reciprocity principle, the Ukrainian side is preparing a response,” the spokesperson said in a comment for RBC-Ukraine media outlet.

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