By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Three more Russian diplomats have been expelled from North Macedonia, third in series of such moves since the beginning of Russian invasion on Ukraine February last year, the foreign ministry confirmed on Saturday.
The small Balkan country had previously expelled Russian diplomats on two occasions since the invasion which Moscow has repeatedly called special military operation.
In March 2023, five Russian diplomats were expelled while a month later six more were ordered to leave.
The ambassador of the Russian Federation in Skopje, Sergey Bazdnikin was summoned on September 12 where he was informed that three of his colleagues were proclaimed persona non grata and must leave the country, the ministry said in a statement.
“Such a decision was adopted after information was received from competent institutions about activities being taken against the Vienna convention for diplomatic relations”, the statement added.
In March 2020, the former Yugoslav republic became the latest member of NATO and is aspiring to join the membership of European Union.
North Macedonia followed the EU’s lead in sanctioning Moscow after the Feb. 2022 invasion, with officials in Skopje labelling Russia a “hostile state”.