Hundreds of German civil servants forced to leave Russia

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Several hundred German civil servants including diplomats, teachers and staff working for a cultural organization will have to leave Russia, reported dpa.

The Russian Foreign Ministry decided in April to introduce a cap on the number of staff at German missions abroad and intermediary organizations in Russia, in response to Berlin's decision to expel a number of Russian intelligence officers, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Saturday, citing the German Foreign Ministry.

"This limit, set by Russia from the beginning of June, requires a major cut in all areas of our presence in Russia," the ministry said, according to the report.

According to the newspaper, the move affects a low to mid three-digit number of diplomats, but above all the step hits cultural mediators such as teachers at the German school in Moscow and a considerable number of staff at the Goethe Institute cultural organization.

Germany and Russia have repeatedly expelled each other's diplomats at times of greater tensions.

That means the representations have already been severely thinned out, services for German citizens have been reduced or are associated with longer waiting times for documents to be issued, for example.

The Kremlin's war on Ukraine led to a significant deterioration in the situation.

"In view of this unilateral, unjustified and incomprehensible decision, the Federal Government is now concerned with ensuring a minimum presence of intermediaries in Russia while also maintaining a diplomatic presence," the newspaper quotes the ministry as saying.

This is only possible if "the number of staff in all areas is reduced, in some cases sharply." With regard to the upper limit for the Russian presence in Germany, the government will ensure that there is a real balance in practice, it said.

  •  German civil servants
  •  Forced to leave
  •  Russia


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