Belgium has expelled 21 Russian diplomats for alleged spying and posing threats to security, the foreign affairs ministry said on Tuesday after a Belga news agency report that did not give sources.
The 21 Russians worked at Moscow's embassy in Brussels and consulate in Antwerp. They were all accredited as diplomats but were working on spying and influencing operations, a ministry spokesperson said.
Ireland has also asked four senior Russian diplomatic officials to leave the country "on account of their activities, which did not meet international standards of diplomatic behavior.
Ireland has summoned the Russian ambassador to advise him on the situation, the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Netherlands has expelled 17 Russian intelligence agents who were accredited as diplomats, based on information from its own security services, the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The reason for this (decision) is information from the AIVD and MIVD showing that the individuals in question, accredited as diplomats at the Russian representations in the Netherlands, are secretly active as intelligence officers," the ministry said.
Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra said the government was prepared for any retaliation by Moscow.
"Experience shows that Russia does not leave such measures unanswered. We cannot speculate on that, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is prepared for various scenarios that may occur in the near future," he said in a statement.
Several other countries have also expelled Russian diplomats prior, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have expelled a total of 10 Russian diplomats, the foreign ministries of the three Baltic countries said on March 18.
Lithuania expelled four diplomats while Latvia and Estonia each expelled three.
The diplomats were expelled in a coordinated move "in connection with activities that are contrary to their diplomatic status and taking into account ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine," Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted.
Estonia's foreign ministry said it had expelled diplomats because they "directly and actively undermined Estonia's security and spread propaganda justifying Russia's military action," its foreign ministry said in a statement.
Lithuania said its expulsions were made "in solidarity with Ukraine."
On March 18, Bulgaria has also expelled 10 diplomats on claims of espionage, the Russian embassy to Sofia said in response that Bulgaria's decision was "yet another aggressive step" to which Moscow would respond accordingly.