Russia to shut Swedish consulate, expel five diplomats
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on May 25, 2023
Moscow on Thursday said it was expelling five Swedish diplomats and closing Russia’s general consulate in Gothenburg and Sweden’s diplomatic mission in Saint Petersburg.
The Russian foreign ministry said that the Swedish ambassador Malena Mard had been summoned and informed of Moscow’s retaliatory measures over her country’s “confrontational course”.
“A decision was made to declare five Swedish diplomats persona non grata,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
The move came after Sweden said in late April it was expelling five Russian diplomats for “activities not compatible” with their diplomatic status.
Russia said the expulsion was an “openly hostile move”, accusing authorities in the northern European country of conducting a “Russophobic campaign”.
Moscow’s general consulate in Gothenburg will be shuttered on September 1, the Russian foreign ministry added in a statement.
Sweden’s general consulate in Saint Petersburg will have to stop operations by that time as well, the statement said.
Ties with Western countries have come under unprecedented pressure after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February 2022 and the West introduced unprecedented sanctions against Moscow.