Dimitrov: Expelled Russian attempted to obtain classified information

“The decision to expel the Russian diplomat from Macedonia was reached after careful contemplation and analysis”, said FM Nikola Dimitrov on Tuesday.

“The decision is based on two elements. One is the international element, i.e. the chemical weapons’ attack in Great Britain and the solidarity asked by our allies, resulting in the synchronized action we witnessed yesterday,” Dimitrov told reporters at a joint press conference with Austrian counterpart Karin Kneissl.

According to him, there is also national grounds for the step undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Namely, the expelled individual exceeded the term and the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

“This reaction aims at protecting the national interest, the integrity of institutions, and the country’s security. We want friendly relations with all countries, based on sincerity and understanding of the strategic and key interests of both sides,” added Dimitrov.

He said the activities included an attempt to obtain classified information that is important for Macedonia’s security.

“The diplomat’s identity is the point of interest. We are obliged to protect it, out of respect to the Russian Federation and the diplomat’s personal safety. Our knowledge is based on evidence and we have no dilemma there were such attempts,” said Dimitrov.