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Russia expels Finnish diplomats, shuts down consulate in a tit-for-tat move

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday announced the expelling of nine Finnish diplomats and shutting down Finland’s consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, in retaliation for Finland expelling nine Russian diplomats last month. The ministry said in a lengthy statement that it summoned Finland’s ambassador to Russia, Antti Helantera, on Thursday, and relayed its “strong protest in connection with the confrontational anti-Russian policy pursued by the Finnish authorities.” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö tweeted that he considered Moscow’s move on Thursday as “a tough and asymmetric” response to Helsinki’s decision to expel Russian diplomats, who were suspected of working in intelligence operations at Russia’s embassy Helsinki.

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