Russia has expelled three diplomats from Germany, Sweden and Poland over Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny protests.
In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry, the EU diplomats "took part in illegal protests" held in favor of Putin's critic, Navalny, reports the BBC
The announcement came on Friday, hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Moscow with EU foreign affairs leader Josep Borrell.
A Swedish spokeswoman for the foreign ministry denied that its diplomat was involved in any demonstration and called the expulsion "totally unfounded".
Navalny is a vociferous critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Hundreds of thousands of people took part in protests in support of Mr Navalny across Russia on 23 and 31 January. Thousands of participants were arrested.
The German foreign ministry denounced the expulsion as being "in no way justified" and said it would retaliate if Russia did not reconsider.