Their activities have been ‘incompatible with their status as diplomats,’ says Sweden’s foreign minister
Sweden on Tuesday expelled five Russian diplomats for carrying out activities that are “inconsistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
In a statement, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said that Russia’s Ambassador to Stockholm Viktor Tatarintsev was summoned to inform him about the expulsion of the diplomats at the Russian Embassy in Sweden.
“Their activities on our territory have been incompatible with their status as diplomats,” Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom told the local broadcaster SVT Nyheter.
Last year, three Russian diplomats were also expelled from Sweden in response to Moscow’s war on Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Norway expelled 15 Russian officials accusing them of spying under diplomatic cover. Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said that Norway will not allow Moscow to use its embassy to carry out “covert intelligence activities”.
Swedish security services SAPO previously claimed that every third Russian diplomat is Russia’s intelligence officer, according to the SVT Nyheter.
“These are state-employed individuals who have these assignments to simply gather information and influence a country in a direction they want,” Daniel Stenling, head of the SAPO’s counterintelligence, was quoted as saying by the broadcaster.
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