28 Mar 2018 18:26

Thirteen Russian diplomats leaving Ukraine - Kyiv

KYIV. March 28 (Interfax) - The Russian diplomats declared personae non gratae by Ukraine are already leaving the country, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Marian Betsa, said on Wednesday evening.

"The 48-hour period has not expired yet. We delivered the note of protest declaring these individuals personae non gratae on Monday, at around 6 p.m., but as far I know, the departure of the Russian diplomats is already under way," Betsa told Interfax.

The ministry is waiting to receive a Russian note on the completion of the mission of these diplomats, who must surrender their accreditation cards immediately, the spokeswoman said.

Under international law, Russia is entitled to send in new diplomats to replace those who left, but Ukraine has the final say, she said. "It is the hosting party's right whether to host or not; that is, in principle, diplomats may come [to fill] these positions as long as we give consent. For now, this matter is not under consideration," Betsa said.