Warsaw: Poland has ordered 45 staffers at the Russian Embassy in Warsaw to leave the country in less than a week, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here said.
This represents about half of the total Russian staff at the embassy, and its consular and trade representatives, reports Xinhua news agency.
“In total, 45 people with varying diplomatic status have been ordered to leave the territory of the Republic of Poland within five days,” Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina announced.
One person will have to leave within 48 hours, he added.
Meanwhile, taking to Twitter, Polish Foreign Minister Mariusz Kaminski said: “Poland expelled 45 Russian spies pretending to be diplomats. With full consistency and determination, we are breaking up the agents of the Russian secret services in our country.”
Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergei Andreev was informed of the decision after being summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Andreev said there will be consequences for Poland’s actions, including the expulsion of Polish diplomats from Russia “on the principle of reciprocity”.
The envoy called the expulsions “baseless,” adding that all staff members “were carrying out normal diplomatic and trade activity”.