Monday

5th Dec 2022

EU wave of Russian diplomat expulsions growing

  • Civilian corpses in the streets of Bucha, near Kyiv (Photo: Ukraine foreign ministry)
Listen to article

Italy, Denmark, Spain, and Sweden have joined the EU's mass-expulsion of Russian diplomats after reports of Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

Italy, one of the most pro-Russian EU countries, threw out 30 Russians on Tuesday (5 April), saying it was needed "for reasons related to our national security".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Russia's EU ambassador Vladimir Chizhov (Photo: friendsofeurope.org)

Spain booted out 25 more due to "the terrible actions carried out in the past days in Ukraine especially in Bucha and the ones reported today from Mariupol", Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Albares said, referring to two Ukrainian towns.

Denmark expelled 15, with foreign minister Jeppe Kofod tying the move to reports of Russian torture and murder of hundreds of Ukrainian civilians. "This is another example of brutality, cruelty and war crimes, which apparently have taken place in Bucha," Kofod said.

Latvia (13 expulsions) and Sweden (3) also joined the wave of defenestrations.

That brought the total number of post-Bucha massacre EU expulsions to 162 after Germany, France, and Lithuania ejected 76 Russian diplomats, including Russia's ambassador in Vilnius, on Monday.

EU countries are also planning a new round of economic sanctions amid emotional appeals by Ukrainian officials.

"Every euro, every cent you [Europe] receive from or send to Russia has blood; it is bloody money," Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said Wednesday after visiting Bucha, which he called a "genocide of Ukrainians".

The UN should create a special court to try Russian war criminals the way it did those of former Yugoslavia, Oleksiy Arestovych, a Ukrainian presidential aide, also said.

Speaking in Vienna Wednesday, Michael Carpenter, a senior US diplomat said the multiplication of eyewitness accounts and forensic evidence of civilian rape, torture, and extra-judicial executions by Russian soldiers coming out of Ukraine "suggest these are not the acts of a rogue soldier or two — they are part of a broader troubling pattern".

"The callousness with which Russia's authorities have treated the news from Bucha is also worth dwelling on briefly," Carpenter, who is the US ambassador to the Organisation for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), also said.

"As photos of bloodied civilian corpses with hands tied behind their backs emerged on Saturday, Russian [foreign ministry] spokesperson Maria Zakharova tweeted about the injustice of being turned away from a Chanel store," he said.

Zakharova is already on an EU sanctions list.

Chizhov

Meanwhile, the Russian mission to the EU continued circulating lies about the war to its mailing list of Brussels-based journalists even as the Bucha evidence came to light.

In its latest press release, published Monday, it also complained that EUobserver had caused "insult" to its EU ambassador, Vladimir Chizhov, by its choice of vocabulary in an op-ed.

Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Poland expelled 108 Russian diplomats in March on grounds they were guilty of espionage.

But Belgian authorities have let Chizhov stay for now, even though some Western intelligence services see him as the Kremlin's main channel of disinformation and influence in the EU capital.

"Chizhov should be PNG-ed [Persona Non Grata-ed] ASAP," one EU diplomat told EUobserver.

"We regret the reduction of the possibilities of communicating at the diplomatic level in these difficult conditions," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

Ukraine will prevail, says defiant Kharkiv leader

Tetiana Yehorova-Lutsenko is Kharkiv's regional council leader. Along with her two boys, they hid in a basement for two weeks amid Russian aerial bombardment. On Wednesday, she met Ukrainian refugees at a Polish train station.

Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Over the last 10 years, Portugal has given 1,470 golden visas to people originating from countries whose tax-transparency practices the EU finds problematic. But unlike common practice in other EU states with similar programmes, Portugal has not implemented "due diligence".

Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Over the last 10 years, Portugal has given 1,470 golden visas to people originating from countries whose tax-transparency practices the EU finds problematic. But unlike common practice in other EU states with similar programmes, Portugal has not implemented "due diligence".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Hungary's funds showdown in focus This WEEK
  2. EU must break Orbán's veto on a tax rate for multinationals
  3. Belarus dictator's family loves EU luxuries, flight data shows
  4. How Berlin and Paris sold-out the EU corporate due diligence law
  5. Turkey's EU-funded detention centres ripe with abuse: NGO
  6. In green subsidy race, EU should not imitate US
  7. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  8. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022
  2. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  4. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  6. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us