Germany orders the closure of 4 out of 5 Russian consulates – DW – 05/31/2023

Germany’s foreign ministry announced on Wednesday that Berlin has revoked the licenses of four out of five Russian consulates in a retaliatory measure against Moscow.

This step comes after the Russian governmentEstablish a maximum of 350 for the number of German government officialsincluding those who work in cultural institutions and schools, who can stay in Russia.

What is behind the decision?

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry told reporters that the measure aimed to create “parity in personnel and structures” between the two countries.

The spokesman said Russia had “taken an escalatory step” in limiting the German presence. “This unjustified decision forces the German government to make a very significant reduction in all areas of its presence in Russia,” he said.

After the end of the year, Russia will only be allowed to continue operating the embassy in Berlin and one more consulate.

“This was reported to the Russian Foreign Ministry today,” the official added. He said that while the move was unfortunate, the Ukraine war meant there was “simply no basis” for many bilateral activities between the two countries.

A gay activist flees from Russia to Germany

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Hundreds of civil servants and local employees working in German institutions in Russia will need to leave the country or lose their jobs, the German Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Several hundred people were affected. While the order applied to consulate and embassies officials, most of those affected are employees of the Goethe Cultural Institute, as well as German schools and nurseries.

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Moscow’s decision means closing the German consulates in Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, leaving only the German embassy in Moscow and the consulate in St. Petersburg.

Reflect the move More strained relations between Moscow and Berlin since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

rc/kb (Reuters, AP)

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