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Spokeswoman assumes Moldova expelled Russian diplomats for domestic political reasons

The Moldovan government's decision to expel Russian diplomats has nothing to do with their professional activities, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday. According to her, this decision was part of Chisinau's "domestic political story."

"As far as Moldova is concerned, this is some kind of a domestic political story. It has nothing to do with the Russian diplomats working in the country, particularly with their professional activities," she said adding that this story was reminiscent of what happened to the Russian diplomats in the US in late 2016.

Moldova's government earlier decided to expel five Russian diplomats, while Russia declared five Moldovan diplomats persona non grata as a retaliatory measure.

In late December 2016, the Obama administration introduced a new round of sanctions against some Russian companies, the Federal Security Service and the Main Intelligence Agency of Russia's General Staff. Besides that, US authorities expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland. Washington attributed these sanctions to alleged cyber attacks against US political institutions, accusing Russia of being involved. However, Moscow fully rejected all allegations.

[Source: Itar Tass, St. Peterburg, 01Jun17]

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