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Croatia to expel 24 Russian diplomats, staff

Croatia will expel 24 Russian diplomats and embassy staff over the war in Ukraine, its foreign ministry said on Monday, following a wave of similar moves across Europe.

Gordan Grlić Radman / Photo: Hina

Croatia will expel 24 Russian diplomats and embassy staff over the war in Ukraine, its foreign ministry said on Monday, following a wave of similar moves across Europe.

The foreign ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to Croatia to voice the “strongest condemnation of the brutal aggression against Ukraine and numerous crimes” and to demand that 18 Russian diplomats and six administrative staff leave Croatia.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman last month accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes in Ukraine and voiced hope that his “autocratic regime will not last long”.

The Russian embassy in Zagreb slammed his remarks as “absolutely unacceptable”.

Croatia is a member of both NATO and the European Union. As an EU country, it imposed sanctions against Moscow after Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24.

EU nations have expelled dozens of Russian diplomats for alleged spying or “national security reasons”, amid outrage over allegations of killings of Ukrainian civilians by Russian troops.

Moscow denies the allegations. The Kremlin has slammed the expulsions as a “short-sighted move” and warned of retaliatory steps.