Sweden expelled five Russian diplomats: accuses them of espionage

File photo of Tobias Billstrom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden (AP) (Michael Sohn /)

Sweden informed Russia on Tuesday that five employees of the embassy in Stockholm must leave the country under suspicion of espionage.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom announced that his activities are “incompatible” with his diplomatic status. It did not specify the nature of those activities.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has today called the Russian ambassador, Victor Tatarintsev, to inform him that five people employed at his embassy must leave the country because their activities are not compatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” a brief statement said. .

The Swedish Security Service (SAPO) recently received a list of names of suspected Russian intelligence agents, public television reported. SVT. The security agency has said that “One in three Russian diplomats in Sweden is an intelligence agent.”

The Swedish government expelled three Russian embassy officials last year. The then foreign minister, Ann Linde, claimed that they had “carried out illegal intelligence operations in Sweden”. And neighboring Norway said two weeks ago it was expelling 15 Russian diplomats accused of espionage.

File photo: General view of the Russian embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, on February 8, 2021 (REUTERS)
File photo: General view of the Russian embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, on February 8, 2021 (REUTERS) (TT News Agency /)

Public television stations in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden reported last week in a joint investigation that Russia was suspected of spying in the waters of the Baltic and North Sea by means of fishing vessels, cargo ships and civilian yachtsas part of an espionage program that planned the sabotage of energy infrastructures in northern Europe.

In their television series “The War in the Shadows”, the stations analyzed maritime traffic and the locations of Russian ships. They said the data revealed suspicious shipping lanes, particularly around offshore wind farms, gas pipelines and undersea power and data transmission cables. A new episode is scheduled for Wednesday.

Alarmed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year, Sweden and Finland asked to join NATO to seek protection under the alliance’s security shield. Finland joined on April 4. Objections from Turkey and Hungary have delayed entry by Sweden, which has avoided military alliances for more than 200 years.

(With information from AP, AFP and EFE)

Keep reading:

The Iranian regime sends ammunition to Russia through the Caspian Sea to use in the invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine prepares a counteroffensive to recover the territory of Kherson invaded by the Russians

Medvedev said a new world war is “most likely” coming

A Russian missile barrage destroyed a museum and left at least two dead