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Ukraine Recalls Ambassador to Kazakhstan After Row With Moscow

Petro Vrublevsky. ULYSMEDIA / YouTube

Ukraine has removed its ambassador to Kazakhstan in Central Asia, according to a decree published on the presidential website, after remarks he made about Russia spurred condemnation from Moscow.

Russia's Foreign Ministry had urged Kazakhstan to expel Petro Vrublevsky after he gave an interview in which he made comments about "killing" Russians.

He later apologized for the remarks.

Astana had said it communicated the "unacceptability" of Vrublevsky's statement to Kyiv and an agreement had been reached for his recall.

The decree published by Ukraine's presidency on Tuesday evening did not specify why the ambassador was relieved of his duties and did not appoint a replacement.  



In early October, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry summoned Russia's ambassador for a "serious talk" after Moscow demanded Kazakhstan expel the Ukrainian ambassador.

Ties between Russia and Kazakhstan have been strained since the launch of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, with the Central Asian country seeking to balance its relations with the West and those with its ally Moscow. 

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has publicly disagreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, and has also assured the thousands of Russians fleeing to Kazakhstan since the announcement of Moscow's partial mobilization that they will not be repatriated for military service.

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