December 4, 2019 / 11:59 AM / 2 days ago

Russia pledges a response to Germany's 'unfriendly' diplomatic expulsions

A general view shows the Russian embassy after Germany expelled two Russian diplomats in Berlin, Germany, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday promised it would respond to Germany’s expulsion of two Russian diplomats, a move it called unfriendly and unfounded, Russian news agencies reported.

Germany earlier on Wednesday said it was expelling two diplomats at the Russian embassy in Berlin over what it said was Moscow’s refusal to cooperate in the investigation of a murder where German prosecutors suspect Russian or Chechen involvement.

Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, who had previously fought alongside anti-Moscow separatists in Chechnya, was shot twice in the head in a central Berlin park in August as he was heading to a mosque.

The Kremlin has denied any Russian government involvement.

Dmitry Novikov, a senior Russian lawmaker, said he thought Moscow would respond in kind to the German expulsions, the Interfax news agency reported.

(This story clarifies attribution in final paragraph)

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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