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RUSSIA

Denmark expels 15 Russian diplomats accused of spying

Denmark said on Tuesday it is expelling 15 Russian "intelligence officers" registered as diplomats in the country following similar moves by a number of EU countries, including Germany and France.

The Russian Embassy in Copenhagen photographed on February 22nd 2022.
The Russian Embassy in Copenhagen photographed on February 22nd 2022. Denmark said on Tuesday it is expelling 15 Russian "intelligence officers" registered as diplomats. File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The Russian citizens concerned will have 14 days to leave the country, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We have established that the 15 expelled intelligence officers have conducted spying on Danish soil,” Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told reporters after a meeting in parliament.

Denmark wished to send a “clear signal” that spying in the Nordic country was “unacceptable,” he said.

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark was informed of the decision early Tuesday, where the government also expressed a “strong condemnation of Russia’s brutality against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha”.

“Deliberate attacks against civilians are a war crime,” it said.

At the same time, Copenhagen insisted on maintaining diplomatic relations with Moscow.

“Denmark does not wish to break diplomatic relations to Moscow. The Russian ambassador and the rest of the embassy in Copenhagen are therefore not included in the expulsion,” Kofod said. 

Horrific images of corpses lying in the streets in the town of Bucha north-west of Kyiv, some with their hands bound behind them, following the Russian withdrawal have drawn international condemnation of Russia, and the EU is considering additional sanctions. 

Moscow has denied responsibility, suggesting the images are fake or that the deaths occurred after Russian forces pulled out of the area.

But newly released satellite photographs taken by Maxar Technologies in mid-March, before the Russian withdrawal, showed what appeared to be bodies in some of the same places they were later found by Ukrainian troops and seen by journalists. 

On Monday,  France expelled 35 Russian diplomats, and Germany announced it had expelled a “significant number” of Russian envoys.

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RUSSIA

Russian warship violates Danish waters

A Russian corvette twice violated Denmark's territorial waters in the Baltic Sea on Friday, the Danish armed forces said.

Russian warship violates Danish waters
The Russian vessel first crossed into the Danish waters north of the island of Christianso, south of Sweden, at 1230 am GMT.
 
“A few hours later, the same corvette crossed into Danish waters again, also north of Christianso,” the Danish military said in a statement.
 
“Following a call on civilian VHF radio from the Navy’s maritime operations unit, the Russian ship immediately left Danish territorial waters,” it added. The military said it had “nothing further to add”.
 
Denmark’s foreign ministry later said it had been in talks with the Russian ambassador, and noted that the incursion occurred after a Russian military spy plane violated its airspace in late March.
 
“Russia is again ignoring the international rule book by not respecting borders. It has been communicated in very clear terms to the Russian ambassador that this kind of action is completely unacceptable,” foreign
minister Jeppe Kofod said in a separate statement.

 
“A deeply irresponsible, gross and completely unacceptable Russian provocation in the middle of #fmdk,” Kofod added on Twitter, referring to the democracy festival, Folkemødet.
 
 
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, as well as several members of her cabinet and opposition leaders are currently attending the four-day festival discussing climate, defence policy and other matters.
 
Denmark is a member of NATO and has sent both anti-tank launchers and an anti-ship missile system to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February.
 
Christianso is located some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
 
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