Russian Diplomat Declared Persona Non Grata in Albania Over Violation of Anti-Coronavirus Measures


It is stated that the ministry contacted the Russian Ambassador to Tirana, Mikhail Afanasyev, expressing concern about the continuing violations of measures to combat COVID-19 by the diplomat of the Russian embassy.

Albania declared a Russian diplomat a persona non grata due to violations of anti-coronavirus measures, the foreign ministry of Albania announced on Thursday, Sputnik reports.

The diplomat must leave the country within 72 hours, the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, contrary to promises, the diplomat has continued to violate the undertaken measures… With regret, the Albanian government decided to declare diplomat Alexei Krivosheev persona non grata with the obligation to leave the country within 72 hours of official notification,” the statement reads.

The Russian embassy in Albania said it considers the allegations made against the Russian diplomat to be unreasonable.

“We consider all the accusations against the Russian diplomat cited in these documents to be unfounded. We also note that the disclosure in the press release of the name of our employee grossly contradicts established international diplomatic practice. The Russian Foreign Ministry has been informed,” the Russian diplomatic mission said.

At the same time, Tirana expressed hope that this decision will be perceived by Moscow as a necessary measure to protect public health, and also assured the Russian side of friendly feelings and a willingness to constantly improve relations between the countries.

The ministry did not specify which anti-coronavirus measures the diplomat had violated by his actions.

According to the most recent data from Johns Hopkins University, Albania has registered a total of 69,238 confirmed cases of the infection since early 2020, with the death toll currently standing at 1,291.