“Zoo murder” verdict: russia also expels diplomats

After the verdict in the so-called zoological garden murder trial, russia has now declared two german diplomats "undesirable persons. This was announced by the auben ministry in moscow after a conversation with ambassador geza andreas von geyr.

The move is a reaction to the expulsion of two russian embassy employees in berlin. The german ambassador, on the other hand, was handed a "firm protest", it was said. The ministry in moscow had previously criticized the berlin ruling as politically motivated and announced an equivalent response.

The foreign office in berlin described the expulsion of two german diplomats by russia as a renewed strain on german-russian relations. "This step does not come as a surprise, but from the point of view of the federal government it is completely unfounded," a spokesman for the german auben ministry said. At the same time, he stressed that the federal government is seeking a dialogue with russia on the basis of international law and mutual respect.

The spokesman of the german foreign ministry wrote that the german decision last week was an appropriate reaction to the finding of the berlin chamber court that the so-called tiergarten murder was carried out on behalf of russian state authorities. This is a serious violation of the sovereignty of the federal republic of germany.

Life sentence for murder of georgian

Because of the deportation of a georgian in august 2019 in the park kleiner tiergarten in berlin, the court had imposed life imprisonment on a russian last wednesday. The verdict speaks of "state terrorism": according to the judges, the 56-year-old was acting on behalf of russian state authorities. Russia rejects such accusations.

The auben ministry in moscow criticized the verdict against the russian statesman for murder as "absolutely unjust, not objective". The georgian killed was described as "one of the early leaders of terrorist groups in the north caucasus". Russian president vladimir putin had called him a "murderer" and "bandit" and accused him of killing dozens of people.

The ministry in moscow again denied that russian state agencies had anything to do with the crime. Berlin verdict is "far from reality. In the future, the russian side will continue to react accordingly to "any potentially confrontational outbursts from berlin".

Last week, auben minister annalena baerbock (grune) had spoken of a "grave violation of german law and the sovereignty of the federal republic of germany. The spokeswoman of the russian auben ministry, maria zakharova, then spoke of "unfriendly actions by berlin" that could not go unanswered.

Expulsion of russian diplomats

The federal government had already expelled two employees of the russian embassy during the investigation into the "tiergarten murder", citing a lack of willingness to cooperate on the part of russian authorities. According to the court, russian authorities did not help in the investigation of the crime. Moscow also reacted at the time by expelling two german diplomats.

Relations between berlin and moscow have continued to deteriorate since russia annexed the ukrainian black sea peninsula of crimea in 2014. This was caused, among other things, by the largest-ever cyber attack on the german parliament in 2015, for which russian hackers are blamed, the poisoning of kremlin critic alexei nawalny and, most recently, the russian troop deployment on the border with ukraine.


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