Germany to close four Russian consulates on its soil

May 31, 2023

Berlin [Germany], May 31 : Berlin will reduce the number of Moscow's Consulates on its soil after Russia set an upper limit of 350 for the number of German government officials, The Moscow Times reported.
The Moscow Times is an independent English-language and Russian-language online newspaper.
Addressing the regular press conference, the Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry said, "We have decided to withdraw consent for the operation of four of the five Russian consulates operating in Germany."
The Spokesperson further added that "this was communicated to the Russian Foreign Ministry today," according to The Moscow Times.
Earlier, Russia set an upper limit of 350 for the number of German government officials after which various German civil servants, including diplomats, school teachers and Goethe-Institut staff, are expected to leave Russia shortly, reported DW.
Deutsche Welle abbreviated to DW, is a German public, state-owned international broadcaster funded by the German federal tax budget.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper first reported on the matter. It said that the Kremlin decided in April to introduce a cap on the number of staff at Germany's missions and intermediary organizations in the country.
The move follows Berlin's decision to expel a number of Russian intelligence officers.
The new move shows the effect on ties between Moscow and Berlin caused by the war in Ukraine.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, Germany cut its reliance on Russian gas imports, backed international sanctions on Moscow and expelled dozen of Russian diplomats who Berlin believed to represent a threat to its security, as per DW.
Earlier, in April, Russia said that it was expelling more than 20 German diplomats in what it said was a tit-for-tat move after it claimed Germany had expelled numerous Russian diplomats.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel that Moscow was responding in kind to Berlin's "mass expulsion of employees of Russian diplomatic missions in Germany."
She later told Russian state-run television that "more than 20" German diplomats would be expelled, reported DW.