The German Government announced Wednesday that it has told Russia to shut down four of its five consulates general in Germany.
German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Christofer Burger said the move was intended to create a “parity of personnel and structures” between Germany and Russia.
Moscow will be allowed to decide which four of its five consulates—in Bonn, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich—will be closed. The Russian Embassy in Berlin is exempt from the closure decision.
Germany has been supporting Ukraine with funding and armory, including tanks, to aid in its more than 15-month long war against Russia. As of this month, German has supplied Ukraine with more than $15 billion worth of military support.
In reaction, Moscow has recently imposed an upper limit of 350 German officials inside Russia, including those who work for cultural bodies and schools. According to Burger, this means Germany will have to shut down its consulates in Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Kaliningrad before November, allowing only its embassy in Moscow and its consulate in St. Petersburg to stay open.
Conceding that the closures are regrettable, Burger added that the war meant there was “simply no basis” for numerous bilateral activities between the two countries at the moment.
He further asserted that “it is the behavior of the Russian side that has brought us into this situation.”