In a major political development, France on Monday made an announcement that the country is preparing to expel at least 30 Russians “under the diplomatic status” in the wake of the war atrocities committed by the Russian military in the northwest town of Bucha, near Kyiv.

In a statement released by the spokesperson for the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France will expel many Russian diplomats, whose stressed activities “are contrary to our security interests.”

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The statement further mentioned that, “This action is part of a European approach. Our first responsibility is always to make sure the safety of the French and Europeans.”

Last month, four of European nations, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, and the Czech Republic, has also made an announcement about the expulsion of Russian diplomats, citing alleged espionage as Moscow’s war against Ukraine raged. While the Netherlands has made an announcement of the removal of 17 Russian diplomats who, according to the Dutch Foreign Ministry, were acting as intelligence officers, Belgium stated that it had expelled 21 Russian diplomats.

Ireland has asked at least four Russian diplomats to leave, and the Czech Republic expelled at least one envoy. Russian embassies, meanwhile, in their response, had threatened a retaliatory measure against the “unfriendly” nations.

Meanwhile, Germany has expelled 40 Russian envoys over the brutal civilian slayings in Bucha, where dozens of bodies were found lined across the streets in the aftermath of the Russian occupation.

While responding to the ‘unbelievable brutality,’ Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has made an announcement that dozens of Russian officials were being declared as ‘persona non grata.’ The Olaf Scholz-led nation has also warned of ‘further measures,’ showing that additional action was being prepared against Moscow in partnership with allies.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied all blame relating to the slayings of civilians in Ukraine’s Bucha and termed the situation a “fake attack” aiming at undermining Moscow. As per Lavrov, the dead bodies were “staged”, and images of them were widely circulated on social media by Ukraine and other Western nations to defame Russia and its military forces.

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