Almost 600 Russian Diplomats Were Expelled From Western Nations Since February 2022

According to a report by TASS, up to 574 Russian diplomats have been kicked out of Western countries and some of the US’s allies in the Indo-Pacific region since the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine February 24, 2022. 

TASS noted that these expulsions have had “various pretexts, both those linked with the situation in Ukraine and on accusations of conducting activities incompatible with the status of diplomats.”

For perspective, there were only 123 Russian diplomats declared persona non grata over the alleged poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The largest expulsion incident of Russian diplomats occurred in June 2022 when 70 diplomats were kicked out of Bulgaria.

Of all Western countries, Bulgaria has expelled the highest number of Russian diplomats — 83. It is followed by Poland (45) Germany (40), Slovakia (35), France (35), Slovenia (33), Italy (30) and the United States (28). In sum, 29 European countries, on top of the US, and Japan took hostile actions against Russian diplomats. On top of that, 19 Russian employees were kicked out of the Russian mission to the EU.

Since Russia’s military incursion in Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, have downgraded diplomatic representation levels. On January 23, 2023, Latvia continued downgrading diplomatic relations with Russia to the level of charge d’affaires.

Severing diplomatic relations with Russia does no good. It’s a nuclear power that views what’s going on in Ukraine in an existential light. At the end of the day, diplomacy, not military escalation, is still needed to bring this conflict to a close. 

Sadly, the current political elite will not entertain such reasonable options to wind down this conflict.

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