In response to Kiev’s actions, Moscow declared persona non grata an employee of the Ukrainian Consulate General in Russia. This was stated in the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“In response to such an unfriendly and unmotivated move by Kiev, the Russian side was forced, on the basis of reciprocity, to declare persona non grata an employee of the Consulate General of Ukraine in St. Petersburg,” RIA Novosti quoted the agency as saying.
Recall, on August 13, Ukraine declared persona non grata to the diplomat of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Lviv. This was stated in the Security Service of Ukraine.
“For activities incompatible with the status of consular officer, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine declared the spy diplomat persona non grata. He has already left the territory of Ukraine, ”the agency said.
According to the Ukrainian side, the Russian diplomat allegedly recruited a military pensioner who collected intelligence information about political and public figures, units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, special and law enforcement agencies, foreign military instructors in the western region of the country.
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the Ukrainian provocation with the expulsion of the Russian diplomat was organized in May 2019. The Russian Foreign Ministry explained that then in Kiev they “unreasonably declared” an employee of the Russian Consulate General in Lviv as persona non grata.
- The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
- © Valentyn Ogirenko
“There was no evidence of his unlawful activity that went beyond fulfilling professional duties related to the work of a consular post,” the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized.
At the same time, Russian diplomats are confident that the delay in the Ukrainian side with the publication of data on the employee of the Russian consulate "is connected with the internal political games in Ukraine."
Commenting on the actions of the Ukrainian side, political analyst Ivan Mezyuho noted that at present the new government in Kiev behaves the same as the previous one.
“Vladimir Zelensky behaves as a follower of the foreign policy of his predecessor, whom he criticized during the election debate at the stadium in Kiev and in general during the election campaign,” the expert said in an interview with RT.
He suggested that Ukraine had prepared a number of provocative themes to “spin” them on the eve of Zelensky’s visit to the United States. Against this background, the political scientist doubts that Kiev is ready for a full-fledged dialogue with Moscow.
“You should not assume that Kiev will engage in a constructive dialogue with Russia, to restore at least part of the lost relations during the presidency of Poroshenko,” the expert concluded.
Note that in July the Ukrainian side announced that it was not yet ready for the appointment of a new ambassador to Russia.
“Everything remains in the state in which it is. He (the Ukrainian Embassy in Russia . - RT ) is led by the Chargé d'Affaires of Ukraine in Russia. The same level in Ukraine, ”RIA Novosti quotes the deputy head of the office of the President of Ukraine Vadim Priestayko.
Cases of expulsion of Russian diplomats from Ukraine
Prior to today's decision of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to expel a Russian diplomat, the media reported on similar situations three times.
In March 2018, Kiev sent 13 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission, thus joining the actions of a number of Western states, including the United States, Canada and Australia. In total, these countries sent over 100 Russian diplomats because of the “Skripals case”.
Earlier, in July 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declared persona non grata of the acting Consul General of the Russian Federation in Odessa Valery Shibeko. Kiev explained this decision by the activities of Shibeko, "incompatible with diplomatic status."
In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that this step is aimed at escalating tensions in bilateral relations. Subsequently, the Russian side in September 2015 expelled the Ukrainian diplomat Igor Fedikevich, who worked at the Ukrainian Consulate in St. Petersburg.
In April 2014, the naval attache of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine was named persona non grata. The SBU detained the diplomat allegedly at the place of the commission of an agent’s action, after which he was ordered to leave the country as soon as possible.