Belgium to expel one Russian diplomat

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel announced Tuesday that he has decided to expel one Russian diplomat from the country in the aftermath of the Salisbury attack.

“Belgium condemned the attack at a very early stage, expressed its solidarity with Great Britain and called for coordination at European level in the response to be provided,” he said in a statement tonight.

After coordinating with its partners in the EU and the NATO, Belgium decided to dismiss a member of the diplomatic staff of the Russian mission accredited to the Kingdom of Belgium, he noted.

“Given the gravity of the events in Salisbury and the high probability of Russia’s involvement in this attack, we consider this measure to be fully justified,” said the Belgian PM.

The Russian Ambassador will be notified about this decision within 48 hours.

The person concerned will have 14 days to leave Belgium, the statement stated.

As NATO Headquarters and in accordance with its Seat agreement with this institution, Belgium will faithfully implement the decisions taken by NATO, he stated.

Earlier today, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the reduction of the Russian mission to the Alliance from 30 diplomats to 20.

“Belgium continues to plead for an open and frank dialogue with Russia on topics of common interest,” added Michel.

The list of EU states who have expelled Russian diplomats are : Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Those who did not are: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Source: Kuwait News Agency