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The Ukrainian consul, expelled from Russia, collected data for the preparation of political repression of Ukrainians with dual citizenship, Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

On April 19, the Russian Embassy in Kyiv received a note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declaring the embassy counselor persona non grata because of his activities allegedly incompatible with diplomatic status.

In response to this, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed a resolute protest in connection with the next unfriendly step of Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the accusations against the Russian diplomat groundless and unfounded.

The Russian side also called unacceptable Kyiv's attempt to submit a written note announcing persona non grata of the counselor of the Russian Embassy in response to the oral announcement of the undesirability of the consul of the Consulate General of Ukraine in St. Petersburg staying on the territory of Russia.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Ukrainian consul tried to acquire closed databases of Russian law enforcement agencies containing personal information about individuals. Kyiv wanted to use these materials to prepare political repressions against their own compatriots who have dual citizenship of Russia and Ukraine or who have property and relatives in Russia.

Taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the Russian Foreign Ministry cannot consider the expulsion of a Russian diplomat from Ukraine as a symmetrical measure and reserves the right to retaliate against one of the diplomats of the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow, the statement said.

On April 17, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers detained the Consul of the Consulate General of Ukraine Alexander Sosonyuk in St. Petersburg. He was suspected of obtaining classified information from databases of law enforcement agencies and the FSB.

Subsequently, the Russian Foreign Ministry asked the Charge d'Affaires of Ukraine to leave Russia after the incident with the consul. Vasily Pokotilo was summoned in connection with the illegal activities of the Consul of the Consulate General of Ukraine in St. Petersburg.

In response to the expulsion of the Ukrainian consul, Kyiv announced its intention to expel the senior diplomat from the Russian embassy in Ukraine Chernikov and sent a corresponding note to the Russian embassy.

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