‘Unfriendly and unjustified’: Moscow slams Germany’s decision to expel 2 Russian diplomats, promises to retaliate
The expulsion of Russian diplomats by Germany is an unfriendly and unjustified move, the Russian Foreign Ministry believes. It promised to respond in kind.
The German government earlier announced it ordered two employees of the Russian Embassy in Berlin to leave the country. It said it was meant to show that Berlin was unhappy with Moscow’s response to a German investigation into a high-profile killing of a Georgian man which happened on its soil in August. Berlin said Russia was not doing enough to assist the probe.
Responding to the news on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it considered the German move “unjustified and unfriendly” and that is demonstrated an unacceptable “politicized approach to the investigation.”
We are forced to implement an array of retaliatory measures.
The victim in the murder investigation, who is identified as Tornike K., was shot in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park. German authorities alleged the crime may be tied to officials in the Russian government or in Russia’s Chechen Republic.
German media report that the man was Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national of Chechen origin, who may have been involved with the Chechen insurgency in the 2000s. He was allegedly a supporter of terrorist leader Shamil Basaev and a leader of a 60-strong militant group back in the day.
Moscow effectively lost control of the southern Russian region in the 1990s, which allowed warlords and international terrorists to establish a power base there. A large incursion of jihadists into neighboring Dagestan in 1999 triggered a renewal of hostilities which ended with forces loyal to the Russian government prevailing in Chechnya.
Khangoshvili’s reported paramilitary career continued into 2012, when he is said to have assisted a Georgian operation against his former comrades, whom he had lured out of Austria and into Georgian territory. According to Bild, the man survived four assassination attempts before leaving his home country and getting asylum in Germany.
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