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Russia Expels Canadian Diplomat in Tit-for-Tat Move

Russia has expelled a first secretary at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow in what it said was a response to Canada's earlier expulsion of a Russian assistant military attache, an unidentified foreign ministry official said.

"On April 22, the Canadian diplomatic mission in Moscow was informed of the expulsion from the Russian Federation, within 14 days, of the first secretary of the embassy," the official said, Itar-Tass reported.

"This step was taken in response to the recent expulsion from Ottawa of an assistant Russian military attache."

The Canadian Embassy is yet to formally comment on the expulsion.

Relations between Russia and Canada have deteriorated in recent weeks following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, with both sides engaging in tic-for-tat diplomatic ejections.

In April, Canada gave Lieutenant Colonel Yury Bezler, an assistant military attache, two weeks to leave the country, after Moscow told a Canadian diplomat he was no longer welcome at the embassy in Russia.

Russia claimed they were acting after Canada denied visas to a handful of diplomats over doubts that they were not filling the roles they claimed.

Material from the Moscow Times was included in this report.

See also:

Canada Expels 9 Russian Soldiers Over Crimea Crisis

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