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Germany Shutters Consulates in Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk

The German consulate in Kaliningrad. Valdis Pilskalns (CC BY 3.0)

Updated to include the closures of the German consulates in Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.

Germany's consulates in Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk have closed, according to statements on the German Embassy in Russia's website, which did not give a reason for the closures.

On Thursday, the German consulate in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad said "from now on, the Consulate General in St. Petersburg is responsible for consular and passport matters ... while the Visa Office of the Embassy in Moscow is exclusively responsible for processing visa matters."

The next day, statements on the websites for Germany's consulates in Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk said the consulates had closed and advised Russians to contact the German Embassy in Moscow.

Germany said in May that it would close four out of its five consulates in Russia as Berlin tried to reduce the number of government employees in the country to 350.

The German Foreign Ministry said this number would make it difficult for consulates to continue their regular operations.

Following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year, Germany, along with other European countries, expelled dozens of Russian diplomats.

In 2021, Germany declared an employee of the Russian consulate in Munich persona non grata. Der Spiegel alleged that he was working as a spy for Russia’s foreign intelligence service.

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