Poland’s interior ministry says 45 Russian diplomats have been identified as working in Poland as spies and they have been expelled.
On his Twitter account, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said “Poland expelled 45 Russian spies pretending to be diplomats. With full consistency and determination, we are breaking up the agents of the Russian secret services in our country.”
Polish officials say Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev was summoned to the Polish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday morning, where he was handed a note on the expulsion of 45 Russian diplomats suspected of espionage.
Andreev told reporters after the meeting he knew of no basis for the decision but “They will have to go. This is a sovereign decision by the Polish side and they have the right to their own decision.” He said he was not on the list of diplomats to be expelled.
Andreev later told Russia’s Tass News Agency Russia will take retaliatory measures and expel Polish diplomats “on the principle of reciprocity.”
Earlier Wednesday, a spokesman for Poland’s Internal Security Agency told reporters said it had sent a list of the suspects to Poland’s Foreign Ministry with a request that they be expelled from the country.
A spokesman for Poland’s special services coordinator, Stanislaw Zaryn, told The Washington Post that the 45 include individuals known to be working for Russia’s secret services, along with others who, while benefiting from diplomatic status in Poland, aided the work of Russian secret services.
Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.