UK, Russia expel diplomats

Britain said it had expelled a diplomat from Russia's embassy in London and that Russia had responded in kind.

UK, Russia expel diplomats

Britain said on Tuesday it had expelled a diplomat from Russia's embassy in London and that Russia had responded in kind, the latest in a series of disputes between the countries.

Britain said it requested the expulsion of the Russian diplomat on Dec. 10 after "clear evidence" of Russian intelligence service activities against British interests.

Russia requested the removal of the British diplomat on Dec. 16, Britain said. Both diplomats had now been withdrawn, it added in a written ministerial statement.

Earlier this month Moscow accused Britain of "paranoid spymania" and hinted that the arrest of a Russian aide to a British member of parliament could set back efforts to improve relations with London.

The Russian Foreign Ministry attacked the handling of the case of Katia Zatuliveter, 25, an aide to a Liberal Democrat on the British parliament's defence committee. The Sunday Times reported earlier that she was supected of espionage.

Russia and Britain have sought to mend ties damaged by the 2006 killing in London of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko with a rare radioactive isotope. Russia refuses to extradite a lawmaker whom Britain wants to try for the killing.

Spy spats between London and Moscow go back to the cloak-and-dagger days of the Cold War.

But there had been recent signs of a thaw with the British government which took power in May. Prime Minister David Cameron last month accepted an invitation to visit Russia next year and his Foreign Secretary William Hague has already been to Moscow.


Reuters

Last Mod: 22 Aralık 2010, 12:50
Add Comment