(CNN)Germany moved to expel two Russian diplomats on Wednesday, after prosecutors said they had grounds to believe there was Russian state involvement in the killing of a former Chechen fighter in Berlin this summer.
Germany expels two Russian diplomats over murder of ex-Chechen fighter in Berlin
Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian citizen of Chechen descent, was on his way to midday prayers at a mosque in downtown Berlin when he was shot dead by a man on a bicycle in Berlin's Kleiner Tiergarten park on August 23.
A suspect, who was carrying a Russian passport, was arrested within hours, but the Kremlin subsequently rejected any connection between the killing and the Russian state.
Germany's Foreign Office on Wednesday said it had declared two employees of the Russian Embassy in Berlin as personae non gratae, effectively expelling them. The declaration was described as taking immediate effect.
"With this step, the German government is responding to the fact that, despite repeated high-level and strong calls, the Russian authorities did not participate sufficiently in the investigation of the murder," the statement read.
"This expectation was most recently expressed by Secretary of State [Andreas] Michaelis to Ambassador [Sergey] Nechaev in an interview at the Foreign Office on 20.11.2019," the statement continued. "Nevertheless, the Russian side has been dilatory [in responding] to the Federal Government's request to cooperate in the investigation, as it has done in previous months."
German federal prosecutors said they had t