The expulsion of Russian diplomats from European countries will lead to retaliatory measures, which is another step towards the deterioration of relations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

“The assessment is obvious here — everything has degraded to possible minimums,” Peskov told a press briefing when asked to assess the consequences of the series of expulsions since Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine last year.

“Every such step, every expulsion of diplomats narrows the basis for the continuation of diplomatic relations,” he said.

Commenting on the recent phone talk between Chinese and Ukrainian leaders, Peskov said Moscow welcomes everything that may bring closer the end of the conflict in Ukraine.

As for the fact of the communication itself — it’s a sovereign right of every state to choose an interlocutor, he added.

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