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Romania says it will expel 10 Russian diplomats

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By Reuters

BUCHAREST – Romania will expel ten Russian diplomats who are not acting in accordance with international rules, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, joining other European countries which have expelled Russian diplomats in recent days.

The moves coincide with outrage across the continent over reports of the discovery of mass graves and of civilian killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha following the retreat of Russian soldiers.

“Romanian authorities have decided to declare personae non gratae on Romanian territory ten people working at the Russian embassy in Bucharest, given that their actions … contravene the Vienna Convention,” the ministry said in a statement.

It added the ambassador had been called to the ministry to be notified of the decision.

“The ministry has reiterated it firmly condemns the crimes committed in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns for which Russia is responsible.”

Moscow has said images of executed civilians are fake products of Ukrainian and Western propaganda aimed at discrediting Russia. It denies targeting civilians.

Spain, Italy, Sweden and Denmark announced similar expulsions earlier on Tuesday, and several other countries in previous days.

The European Commission proposed sweeping new sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, including a ban on coal imports.

Russia says it launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24 to demilitarize and “denazify” the country.

Ukraine and the West see it as a pretext for an unprovoked invasion.