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Albania Expels Russian Diplomat Over Covid Breaches

Vladimir Smirnov / TASS

Albania's foreign ministry said Thursday it had expelled a Russian diplomat over repeated failures to respect coronavirus infection control measures that "cannot be tolerated."

Declared "persona non grata," the man named as Alexey Krivosheev "is required to leave the country within 72 hours," Tirana said in a statement.

Officials from the ministry had repeatedly asked the Russian ambassador to rein in his subordinate's behavior.

"The diplomat continued to violate the protective measures against the pandemic despite promises... which cannot be justified and tolerated," the ministry said.

Tirana declined to specify what violations the Russian had committed, but said that his removal was "necessary to ensure the health and safety of all citizens, Albanian or otherwise."

But the government nevertheless "wishes for friendly relations with the Russian Federation to be strengthened," the ministry said.

Albania in 2018 expelled two Russian diplomats for "inappropriate activities."

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