Sweden says Russia expels 2 diplomats in reprisal

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Sweden says Russia expelled two Swedish diplomats after Stockholm turned down Moscow’s request to extend a Russian diplomat’s visa.

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesman Patric Nilsson told Swedish newspaper Expressen on Wednesday that two Swedish diplomats have been asked to leave Russia.

Nilsson said Sweden earlier refused to extend a Russian diplomat’s visa and also gave a “negative response” to Moscow’s request for visas to add diplomatic personnel.

He says Swedish authorities assume “Russia has responded by asking two Swedish diplomats to leave Russia.”

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Asked if the Swedes’ expulsions were reprisals for Stockholm’s treatment of Russians, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russia’s Tass news agency, “Your question contains the answer.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry typically does not comment on diplomatic expulsions.

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