Moscow pledges ‘retaliatory measures’ after Germany kicks out diplomats

Germany expels two Russian diplomats over Berlin murder probe

Germany expels two Russian diplomats over Berlin murder probe

Germany has expelled two Russian embassy employees in protest against what it said was Moscow's lack of cooperation in an investigation into the murder of a Georgian man in Berlin, in which prosecutors suspect Russian or Chechen involvement.

The allegation by Germany's federal prosecutor's office was the latest from a Western European nation accusing Russia of an attack on its soil, after Britain previous year blamed Moscow for an attempt to poison a former Russian spy in the English city of Salisbury.

Russian Federation is rejecting allegations from Germany that it may have been behind the slaying of a Georgian man in the heart of Berlin this summer.

"Such German action will have a strong negative impact on the Russian-German relations and naturally will not be left unanswered", Nechaev said in a statement.

A Georgian national, Khangoshvili fought in the second Chechen war against Russian forces in the North Caucasus in the period 2001-2005. He is also reported to have survived a May 2015 attempt on his life in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

"These are absolutely baseless assumptions", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by Russian news agency Interfax.

Prosecutors said there is "sufficient evidence" to indicate that the man's murder was carried out on the behalf of the Russian state or by Chechnya.

Federal German prosecutors say they are taking over the investigation of a brazen daylight slaying of a Georgian man after concluding evidence suggests involvement either by the government of Russian Federation or the Chechen republic.

Takeaways from House report on Trump impeachment inquiry
The men, along with Giuliani, were put in charge of Ukraine policy by Trump. He said their investigation is focused on the president's conduct.

The diplomatic row comes at a hard time for the two countries, five days ahead of a major Ukraine summit involving the leaders of Germany, Russia, France and Ukraine.

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The German Foreign Office says Russian officials have not responded sufficiently to repeated requests for information as German authorities investigate the killing of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a former Chechen insurgent commander who had been seeking asylum in Germany. "The expulsion of two Russian diplomats is therefore a proportionate and consequential response".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on December 3, 2019 at the Chancellery in Berlin.

Germany's Foreign Ministry announced the expulsion of two employees of the Russian Embassy in Berlin after prosecutors disclosed they suspect Moscow's involvement in the case.

He added that now that the Russian state has been implicated in the crime, Moscow should start cooperating in the case "to avoid a further loss of confidence".

A joint investigation by German news outlet Der Spiegel and Internet investigative group Bellingcat found the passport's serial number corresponded to a series of numbers commonly used by Russian intelligence officers.

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