Sun, 28 Feb 2021

The Russian Foreign Ministry has expelled two Dutch diplomats in a tit-for-tat move after the expulsion for espionage of two Russian diplomats from The Hague last month.

The ministry said in a statement on January 18 that, 'guided by the principle of reciprocity,' the Dutch acting charge d'affaires, Joost Reintjes, had been summoned to a meeting where he was informed of the decision to expel the two diplomats.

The dispute started on December 10, when the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) said it was expelling two unidentified Russians who were seeking information on artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and nanotechnology.

The AIVD added that the two men worked for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

Russia's embassy in The Hague at the time said the Netherlands had presented no evidence of unlawful acts by the Russian diplomats and the Foreign Ministry said in its statement on January 18 that the allegations were 'unfounded and slanderous.'

It added that the two Dutch diplomats had two weeks to leave Russia.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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