May 9, 2024, 12:03 AM

UK expels Russian diplomat it says is a spy

UK expels Russian diplomat it says is a spy

TEHRAN, May 09 (MNA) – The British authorities will expel Russia’s defense attache, impose new restrictions on Russian diplomatic visas and remove diplomatic status from some Russian properties, Home Secretary James Cleverly announced in parliament.

According to him, this is a message to Moscow in response to its actions allegedly aimed at undermining British assistance to Ukraine.

"We will expel the Russian defense attache who is an undeclared military intelligence officer. We will remove diplomatic premises status from several Russian-owned properties in the UK, including Seacocks House, a Russian owned-property in Sussex and the trade and defense section in Highgate, which we believe have been used for intelligence purposes. And we are imposing new restrictions on Russian diplomatic visas, including capping the length of time Russian diplomats can spend in the UK," Cleverly pointed out.

The Russian embassy in London has not yet commented on the home secretary’s statement.

Meanwhile, the British Foreign Office has summoned Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin. The Foreign Office said in a statement the Russian envoy would be notified of the measures taken.

Cleverly stressed that London would keep an eye out for Moscow’s reaction. He said he expected a prompt response, including "accusations of Russophobia." However, Cleverly added that the UK sought to "make sure that we protect our ability to have lines of communication with Russia, even during these most challenging of times, routes for de-escalation, of error avoidance and the avoidance of miscalculations are really important."

According to the home secretary, London has taken action against Russia’s "malign activity" across the UK and Europe. He particularly mentioned the detention of five Bulgarian nationals on charges of spying for Russia, and an investigation into an arson attack on a Ukrainian company’s storage facilities in London in March 2024. The Crown Prosecution Service earlier said that it was a "hostile activity" aimed at benefiting Russia. Charges have been brought against five people.


News ID 214913


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