Italy expels 30 Russian diplomats over security fears

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio speaks during a news conference following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia February 17, 2022. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/Pool

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ROME, April 5 (Reuters) – Italy has expelled 30 Russian diplomats because of security concerns, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday, and Russia was set to retaliate, according to TASS.

A number of other Western governments have taken similar steps following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Italy summoned Russia’s ambassador to the foreign ministry on Tuesday to tell him that the diplomats were being expelled.

“The measure is in agreement with other European and Atlantic partners and is necessary for reasons linked to our national security and in the context of the current crisis caused by the unjustified aggression against Ukraine on the part of the Russian Federation,” Di Maio said in a statement.

Russia will give an appropriate response, TASS news agency quoted Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.

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Reporting by Angelo Amante Writing by Keith Weir Editing by Agnieszka Flak

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