MOSCOW/BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – The federal government has clearly criticized Moscow’s decision to introduce an upper limit for German civil servants in Russia. This border requires “a major cut in all areas of our presence in Russia,” said the Foreign Office in Berlin at the weekend. It is a “unilateral, unjustified and incomprehensible decision” by Russia. The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, firmly rejected this on Monday: Berlin, not Moscow, started the expulsions.
The new Russian decision means that several hundred German civil servants such as diplomats, teachers and employees of the Goethe Institute have to leave Russia. The upper limit comes into force at the beginning of June and, in addition to the diplomatic service, primarily affects the cultural and educational sectors. Among other things, positions at the German School in Moscow and at the Goethe Institutes in Russia have to be cut.