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Belgium and the Netherlands expel Russian diplomats for spying

Belgium National Day
Posted at 10:49 AM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 10:49:43-04

Belgium has decided to expel 21 Russian diplomats for activities related to espionage or unlawful influence peddling.

The diplomats were given two weeks to leave the country, foreign affairs spokeswoman Elke Pattyn told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

They worked at the Russian embassy in Brussels and the consulate in Antwerp.

Reuters reports the Dutch foreign ministry also expelled 17 Russian intelligence agents on Tuesday.

Like the ones in Belgium, they were also accredited as diplomats.

The Netherlands called the presence of the Russian intelligence offers a “threat to national security.”

Other countries have conducted similar expulsions, including the U.S., Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Montenegro.