Belgium expels 21 Russian diplomats

The diplomats, from the Russian Embassy in Brussels and the Consulate General in Antwerp, will have to leave the territory within 15 days

Sophie Wilmes
Sophie Wilmes
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IANS

Belgium will expel 21 Russian diplomats suspected of espionage and involvement in influence operations threatening Belgian security, the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmes has announced.

The diplomats, from the Russian Embassy in Brussels and the Consulate General in Antwerp, will have to leave the territory within 15 days, Xinhua news agency reported.

The decision was announced during the current affairs debate in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Russian Ambassador to Belgium was informed by the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, said the minister.


"This decision does not constitute a sanction or a punitive measure. It is only linked to our national security," she said. "Diplomatic channels remain open ... and we will of course continue to advocate dialogue."

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