San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)

Putin stokes growing diplomatic reprisals


Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing the country to limit the number of Russians employed at embassies of countries determined to be unfriendly, or to ban their employment entirely.

The measure comes amid a flurry of expulsions of Russian diplomats from the United States and European countries and Moscow’s retaliator­y expulsions.

The U.S. on April 15 expelled 10 Russian diplomats in connection with interferen­ce in the 2020 presidenti­al election and for involvemen­t in the Solar Wind hack of federal agencies.

The Czech Republic recently expelled 18 Russian envoys they labeled as spies, prompting Russia to send 20 Czech diplomats home. That devastated Czech Embassy operations in Moscow, prompting Czech authoritie­s on Thursday to order 63 more Russian diplomats to leave so that both countries had the same number of staff in their respective embassies.

Poland said it was expelling three Russians and Moscow expelled five in retaliatio­n. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have ordered a total of four Russian envoys to leave.

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