Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, French President Emmanuel Macron, second left, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, right, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrive at a working session at the Elysee Palace Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 in Paris. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's president are meeting for the first time at a summit in Paris to find a way to end the five years of fighting in eastern Ukraine. (Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool via AP)

Russia expels 2 German diplomats over Berlin murder probe

December 12, 2019 - 3:32 am

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign ministry said Thursday that it has expelled two German diplomats in retaliation for Germany doing the same last week.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it was making the move “due to the reciprocity principle” and ordered them to leave the country within the next seven days.

The German Foreign Ministry expelled two employees of the Russian Embassy in Berlin last Wednesday, after Russian authorities didn’t answer requests by Germany to help shed light on a brazen daylight slaying of a Georgian man in Berlin.

German federal prosecutors took over the investigation after concluding that evidence suggests involvement either by the government of Russia or Chechnya.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement last week that the “politicized approach to the investigation is inappropriate” and promised to take “reciprocal measures.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week that the slain man was “a bandit" and “a murderer” and said that Russia repeatedly asked Germany to extradite him, but to no avail.

The German Justice Ministry said Wednesday it is not aware of any extradition requests for the victim from Russia.

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