Ihor Berezkin, a counselor and head of the political department at the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow, has left Russia, Interfax-Ukraine learned at the Ukrainian embassy on Monday, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

A source at the embassy said that the Ukrainian diplomat left Moscow without drama in execution of Russia's recommendation on the termination of his posting, which was made in response to similar actions by Kyiv.

Berezkin had been working in Moscow since January 2009. He was in charge of the political aspect of Russian-Ukrainian relations, in particular issues related to the Russian Black Sea Fleet's deployment in Crimea.

As reported, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demanded that a counselor at the Russian Embassy in Kyiv, Vladimir Lysenko, in charge of the Black Sea Fleet issues, leave Ukraine before July 29. The counselor left Kyiv on Tuesday, July 28.

The Ukrainian government had allegedly also demanded the expulsion of the Russian consul general in Odesa, Alexander Grachev.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, said the Ukrainian ambassador in Moscow, Kostiantyn Hryschenko, had been given "an account in connection with the unfriendly actions of the Ukrainian government in relation to two Russian diplomatic envoys in Ukraine - the consul general in Odesa and a senior counselor at the Russian Embassy - who have been told to finish their postings in Ukraine."

"Despite the fact that the Ukrainian side has 'suspended' its decision concerning the Russian consul general, the Russian side assesses Kyiv's act as an openly anti-Russian move that is damaging to relations between Russia and Ukraine," the ministry said.

"The Ukrainian ambassador was told that the Russian side proposes that the Ukrainian side recall the Ukrainian consul general in St. Petersburg and one of the counselors at the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow before their postings officially expire. The Russian side will also suspend its decision concerning the Ukrainian consul general in St. Petersburg in conformity with the principle of reciprocity," the ministry said.


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