Germany to force Russia to close consulates
Russian diplomatic staff will be required to vacate four of the five consulates in Germany by the end of the year, the German Foreign Ministry has announced. Berlin also revealed plans to shut down three of its own consulates in Russia.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the ministry accused the Russian government of “escalation” by imposing a ceiling on German diplomatic and other personnel in the country at 350 individuals in total.
According to the diplomat, this “unjustified” move will lead to a “very considerable reduction” of the German presence in Russia. To wit, Berlin will close its consulates in the cities of Kaliningrad, Yekaterinurg, and Novosibirsk. Cultural missions, such as the one at the Goethe Institute, will also have to be reduced to a bare minimum.
It is in response to these measures that Germany decided to shut down the Russian consulates in the country.
“Our decision works for the Russian presence in Germany reciprocally,” the foreign ministry spokesperson explained, adding that Berlin seeks to ensure parity in the number of representatives working in the two respective countries.
Last month, Moscow already expelled dozens of Berlin’s diplomats after the German authorities showed a large group of Russian representatives the door.