Poland will expel the last of 45 Russian diplomats today after the Polish Internal Security Agency identified them as Russian
Poland will expel the last of 45 Russian diplomats today after the Polish Internal Security Agency identified them as Russian secret service officers.
The accused are alleged to have used their diplomatic status to carry out intelligence activities, which violates Polish law and the 1961 Vienna Convention. The announcement came just five days after Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania ejected 10 Russian diplomats for, as the countries claim, jeopardizing national security. In all cases, the Russian foreign ministry has threatened to retaliate.
On Friday, Russia’s defense ministry announced that it would focus on liberating the Donbas region, suggesting a shift in strategy. Previously, Russian troop movement indicated that the country intended to take the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. However, Moscow has struggled with unprecedented pushback, both within Ukraine and internationally, and may now be revising its ambitions accordingly.
Expect Moscow, in turn, to remove Polish diplomats in Russia. Russia’s strategy change is likely to embolden Western negotiators, so expect further resistance to Russian demands. Sanctions are likely to remain in place unless Russia fully withdraws from Ukraine, as any other approach signals to Moscow a lack of resolve on behalf of the West.
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