Denmark orders Russia to cut Copenhagen embassy staff

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Denmark has decided to cap the number of Russian diplomats allowed at the Copenhagen embassy to five and administrative staff to 20, forcing Moscow to cut its staffing, the Danish foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

“The decision to introduce parity in the size of the two embassies means that the Russian embassy in Copenhagen must reduce its current staffing,” the ministry said.

The reduction must be implemented by Sept. 29, the ministry added.

It was not immediately clear how many diplomats and other employees would have to leave the Russian embassy.

Denmark and Russia have been in long-term negotiations regarding visas for employees at the Danish embassy in Moscow with the aim of maintaining well-functioning embassies in both Denmark and Russia, the Danish foreign ministry said.

“The negotiations have not led to results due to repeated Russian attempts to include visa requests for Russian intelligence officers as part of those negotiations,” the ministry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Essi Lehto, editing by Terje Solsvik)