Live updates: Russia invades Ukraine


Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio speaks during a news conference following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, on February 17. (Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)

More countries continue to expel Russian diplomats as part of the fallout from Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Italy has expelled 30 Russian diplomats for “national security” reasons, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in Berlin on Tuesday. 

The decision “taken in agreement with other European and Atlantic partners” was needed for “reasons related to our national security, in the context of the current crisis resulting from the unjustified aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation,” Di Maio said. 

“Italy is available to act as a guarantor of security and peace in Ukraine and we will do whatever it takes to carry out this work.”

Spain is expelling “about 25 Russian diplomats and embassy staff who represent a threat to the security interests of our country,” Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Tuesday at news conference in Madrid. 

The expulsions also “come after the terrible actions in recent days in Ukraine, especially in Bucha,” Albares said, in reference to images of Ukrainian civilians killed in that town at close range. 

Spain’s Foreign Ministry press office said those expelled will have a few days to prepare for their departure. The list does not include the Russian ambassador to Spain, the press office added. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, appears after the meeting of the Council of Ministers, at La Moncloa, on April 5 in Madrid, Spain.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, appears after the meeting of the Council of Ministers, at La Moncloa, on April 5 in Madrid, Spain. (Gustavo Valiente/Europa Press/AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was due to address Spanish Parliament by video link later Tuesday.

Sweden has expelled three Russian diplomats for carrying out intelligence operations in the country in breach of diplomatic relations, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said in a news conference in Stockholm on Tuesday, condemning “war crimes committed by Russia” in reference to scenes from Bucha.

She added that Sweden wants “to see a fifth sanction package as soon as possible that goes further when it comes to Russian exports of fossil fuels.” 

Several European countries – including France, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands – also decided to expel Russian diplomats. Denmark said Tuesday it has expelled 15 alleged Russian intelligence officers it claims were working undercover as diplomats.

The expulsion of Russian diplomats is a “short-sighted step” that will “inevitably lead to retaliatory steps,” the Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on a regular conference call on Tuesday.

CNN’s Li Lian Ahlskog Hou and Al Goodman contributed reporting to this post.

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