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Russia declares North Macedonian diplomat persona non grata in retaliatory move

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday it expelled an employee of the North Macedonian Embassy in Moscow in a retaliatory move.

In a statement on its website, the ministry said it is a response to the expulsion of a Russian diplomat from Skopje in May.

A related notifying note was handed to North Macedonian charge d’affaires to Russia Olivera Chaushevska-Dimovska, the statement added.

On May 14, the Foreign Ministry of North Macedonia handed the Russian Ambassador to the country Sergey Bazdnikin a note, ordering the expulsion of a Russian diplomat within seven days.

Skopje did not explain the motive of the Russian diplomat expulsion, supposedly it was done to show solidarity with the Czech Republic, which accused Russia of involvement in the 2014 explosions at military warehouses in the town of Vrbetice, the Czech Republic, which left two people dead.

Russia protested the decision, terming it “unfounded.” It recalled that earlier, Czech authorities had investigated the case and found the companies that owned the warehouses guilty.

The countries then exchanged diplomats expulsions, while Prague was supported by some countries, including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia.

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