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Slovakia Expels Three Russian Diplomats — PM

Purchase of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine spurred Slovakia into a political crisis earlier this year. Alexandr Shcherbak / TASS

Slovakia has decided to expel three Russian diplomats, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said on Thursday, after a diplomatic rift between its Czech neighbor and Moscow.

"Three representatives of the Russian diplomatic mission must end their activities in Slovakia and must leave the country within seven days," Heger said.

Heger said that Slovakia had made its decision "following recent events in the Czech Republic and after having thoroughly evaluated information of our intelligence services that closely cooperate with the intelligence services of our allies."

"It was not an empty gesture, rather, our action was based on information received from our intelligence service and intelligence services of our partners," Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad told journalists.

"In the case of these three persons, their activities went beyond established rules in an international environment," Nad said.

Czech Republic and Russia have expelled dozens of diplomats in tit-for-tat moves after Prague accused Moscow of orchestrating an explosion at an arms depot in 2014 that killed two Czech citizens.

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