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5 Mar, 2024 19:51

EU countries’ ambassadors have completely discredited themselves – Moscow

The bloc’s envoys have refused to meet with Russia’s Sergey Lavrov, the foreign ministry has said
EU countries’ ambassadors have completely discredited themselves – Moscow

Ambassadors from EU member states in Russia have “completely discredited themselves” and failed their own citizens, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said, accusing them of refusing to meet Moscow’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov.

Zakharova touched on the matter in an interview with TASS on Tuesday, stating that the Russian public is now wondering why exactly the missions from the bloc’s member states are needed at all, given their reluctance to actually fulfill their duties.

“I believe that conclusions will be drawn, and I have no doubt that [the envoys] have completely discredited themselves within our country and abroad,” Zakharova stated.

The ambassadors have effectively breached their duties, failing the citizens of their home countries, she asserted.

“In fact, it is their citizens, the citizens of their countries who need to ask the question, what are you [EU diplomats] doing in Russia anyway? Do you participate in events only to your taste or do you participate only in events of an anti-Russian flavor?” Zakharova wondered.

The issue was first raised by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday, with the top diplomat explaining he had invited EU states’ envoys for a meeting concerning the upcoming presidential election in Russia. Moscow had accumulated assorted materials on the activities of the missions, including on the “creation of certain support projects for non-systemic opposition” and wanted to warn the ambassadors against election meddling, Lavrov said. The envoys, however, refused to show up for the meeting shortly before it was set to begin, he stated.

The EU mission in Russia appeared to confirm the account, telling RBK it believed the envoys had a right to skip the meeting. “We were invited to discuss the relations between the EU and Russia, but now Minister Lavrov is saying that he wanted to lecture us. This proves that we were right to decline the invitation,” the mission stated.

The alleged refusal provoked an angry reaction from ex-Russian President and current deputy head of the Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, who suggested all the diplomats involved in the affair should be expelled.

“All these ambassadors should be kicked out of Russia, and the level of diplomatic relations should be demoted,” Medvedev wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday, arguing that the conduct of the envoys “goes totally against the very idea of existence of diplomatic missions.”

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