(BBC News) – Russia says it is expelling two German diplomats in retaliation for a similar move by Berlin over suspicions that Moscow ordered the killing of an ethnic Chechen in the German capital.
Last week the German government threw out two Russian diplomats.
It suspects Russia or Russia’s Chechen republic ordered the murder in August of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national. Russia denies involvement.
A Russian citizen is being held in Germany over the killing.
Berlin said it regretted Thursday’s expulsions, but the Kremlin said they were a standard diplomatic move.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday called the man murdered in Berlin a “bandit”, but denied that his country had been involved in his death.
German media have compared the attack on Khangoshvili, a member of Georgia’s ethnic Chechen community, to the attempted murder of Russian former intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK last year.