Russian Foreign Ministry Vows to Respond to Germany's Decision to Expel Russian Diplomats
16:03 GMT 04.04.2022 (Updated: 18:17 GMT 04.04.2022)
© Sputnik / Anton DenisovThe building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square in Moscow.
© Sputnik / Anton Denisov/
Kiev accused Russia of killing hundreds of civilians in the city of Bucha, in the Kiev region, which was abandoned by Russian troops on 31 March. Moscow slammed those allegations as another "provocation" by Kiev that complicates talks and escalates hostilities.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has announced that a "substantial number" of Russian diplomats will be expelled because of the "unbelievable brutality" that Moscow allegedly unleashed in the city of Bucha and Ukraine in general. Russian embassy in Germany said that the move affects 40 diplomats.
"That is why the German government has decided to declare a significant number of staff of the Russian embassy - who have worked every day here in Germany against German freedom and the cohesion of our society - personae non gratae," Baerbock said.
Baerbock also promised additional action from other partners of Germany around the world and suggested that sanctions against Russia will be broadened.
Russia's Foreign Ministry responded to Berlin's decision to declare Russian diplomats unwelcome in Germany, by vowing to deliver an appropriate response. The ministry condemned the move as an "evil act of the German political machine".
The Kremlin earlier dismissed Kiev's accusations of killing civilians in the city of Bucha as another provocation that does not help talks between the two countries. Russia's Defence Ministry stated that the footage and photos from the city, purportedly showing corpses of civilians lying in the streets, had been staged.
The ministry also said that Russian troops left the city on 30 March and its mayor did not report any bodies in the streets the next day when he confirmed the departure of Russian troops. The defence ministry also noted that the residents of Bucha had access to cell networks all the time the Russians were there, and that reports of civilian casualties only emerged four days after Russian troops left the city.
Despite the lack of verified evidence and a thorough investigation, a number of western countries have immediately assumed Russia's guilt and accused Russia of committing atrocities in Bucha, vowed therefore to impose harsher sanctions on Moscow.