Home Travel & Adventure Austria Expels Two Russian Diplomats Following Breach of Diplomatic Immunity

Austria Expels Two Russian Diplomats Following Breach of Diplomatic Immunity


Two Russian diplomats at the Russian embassy in Vienna have been announced personae non-gratae by the Austrian government, stating they have taken actions that do not comply with their diplomatic immunity.

According to the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the two officials have to leave the country in the next three days, at the latest by March 19, 2024, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Two diplomats at the Russian Embassy have taken actions that are incompatible with their diplomatic status. The BMEIA has, therefore, declared the two to be personae non gratae in accordance with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. 

Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs

Under confidentiality, an Austrian official said that the expulsions were related to spying. The EU and the US might impose hundreds of new sanctions on Russia following the anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine and the death of Alexei Navalny, a Putin regime critic.

Russia Vows to Respond Accordinly to Vienna’s ‘Groundless Decision’

According to AP News, the Russian state news agency, RIA Novosti, said that “Russia will give an appropriate response to Vienna’s groundless decision.

In Telegram, the Russian Embassy in Austria expressed it is “outraged by the decision”.

As in previous episodes of expulsions, this time, we were not presented with any evidence of any kind, much less evidence of a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. This is a purely political decision of the Austrian authorities, which we categorically do not accept. 

Russian Embassy in Austria

The same went on to say that there is a clear and resolute reaction from Russia that leaves no room for uncertainty and that Vienna will be responsible for declines in bilateral relations.

Highest Number of Russian Diplomats Expelled Between 2000 & 2023, Recorded in Bulgaria & Poland

As of September of 2023, the total number of Russian diplomats expelled from the EU/EUA countries has reached 638, data from Statista shows.

Bulgaria and Poland have the highest number of rejected Russian diplomats expelled in this over-two-decade period, a total of 90 and 53 people, respectively. In comparison with countries outside the EU, the United States has the highest number – 223 diplomats declared persona non-gratae, as the countries’ official statements reveal.

One notable aspect of the data is that the United States ordered the majority of diplomats to be expelled from 2000 to 2021 – a total of 210 while between 2022 and 2023, 13 Russian diplomats were expelled from the United States.

On the other hand, the European countries, excluding Czechia, expelled 563 Russian officials between 2022 and 2023, representing 89 per cent of all expelled people. This trend is most likely related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the EU countries imposing stringent measures on this nationality.

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