Ukraine expelling Russian consul in Odesa / Photo from UNIAN

A consul of the Russian Consulate General in Odesa has been declared persona non grata.

He must leave Ukraine by April 30, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on its website.

It was the Ukrainian side's retaliatory action against Russia's unfriendly step to declare an employee of the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow persona non grata.

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Read alsoUkraine's MFA praises work of consul expelled from Russia – spokespersonSpokesperson for Ukraine's Foreign Ministry Oleh Nikolenko denied Russia's accusations of the Ukrainian diplomat's activities incompatible with diplomatic status.

The ministry says the decision taken by the Russian Foreign Ministry grossly violates the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, as well as the established diplomatic practice.

Detention of Ukrainian Consul in St. Petersburg: Developments

  • On April 16, 2021, FSB officers detained Consul General of Ukraine in St. Petersburg Oleksandr Sosoniuk.
  • The secret service claimed that Sosoniuk had allegedly tried to obtain confidential information contained in Russian law enforcement agencies' databases. The agency stressed that such activities were incompatible with diplomatic status and are "clearly hostile to the Russian Federation."
  • The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed outrage at the incident.
  • It later became known that Russia was expelling the Ukrainian consul detained in St. Petersburg.
  • Meanwhile, Ukraine decided to take a retaliatory measure to expel a Russian diplomat from Kyiv in response to the provocation in St. Petersburg.
  • On April 21, 2021, a senior diplomat with the Russian Embassy in Kyiv, Yevgeny Chernikov, who had been declared persona non grata in Ukraine, left the country.
  • On April 26, 2021, Russia declared an employee of the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow persona non grata.
  • "Over the unfriendly actions of the Ukrainian side, which on April 19 declared an employee of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kyiv 'persona non grata,' and based on the principle of reciprocity, an employee of the Embassy of Ukraine in Russia was declared 'persona non grata' for activities incompatible with diplomatic status. He was asked to leave the territory of the Russian Federation by the end of the day on April 30," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.