“Together with our allies, we are reducing the Russian intelligence presence in the EU,” the Czech Foreign Ministry said. Poland last week expelled 45 Russians whom the government identified as intelligence officers using their diplomatic status as cover to operate in the country.

In what appeared to be a coordinated action to tackle Russian espionage, at least four European allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats on Tuesday, AP reports.

The expulsions come as relations between Russia and the West have plunged into a deep freeze following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Netherlands said it was expelling 17 Russians who it described as intelligence officers masquerading as diplomats. Belgium said it was ejecting 21 Russians. The Czech Republic gave one Russian diplomat 72 hours to leave the country. Ireland told four senior Russian officials to leave the country because of activities deemed not “in accordance with international standards of diplomatic behaviour.”

North Macedonia announced late Monday it is expelling five Russian diplomats for “activities contrary to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

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