Germany requested Russia’s help in investigating the murder in August of a Georgian man in Berlin, but only after expelling two Russian diplomats in connection with the case, Moscow said Thursday.

“Official requests from Berlin were sent to Moscow on Dec. 6 and Dec. 10, 2019. It was about providing legal assistance in the investigation of the murder of a former member of a North Caucasian terrorist group, [Zelimkhan] Khangoshvili. This was done after the German government’s groundless decision to declare two employees of the Russian Embassy in Berlin persona non grata,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Read more: Russia says Germany sought its help in murder case