Slovakia expels three Russian embassy staff; espionage arrest report

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PRAGUE, March 14 (Reuters) – Slovakia has decided to expel three Russian embassy staff on the basis of intelligence information and they must leave the country within 72 hours, the ministry said on Monday. Foreign Affairs.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (…) at the same time strongly urges the Embassy of the Russian Federation that its representatives carry out their activities in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” he said. in a press release.

The ministry gave no details.

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The Slovak news site www.dennikn.sk said without quoting its sources that the police had arrested at least three Slovaks – a colonel from the Ministry of Defense, a member of the Slovak counterintelligence service SIS and a person linked to a news site that the government shut down. this month for spreading false information – for alleged spying for Russia.

A police spokesperson declined to comment, saying police representatives would hold a press conference on the matter on Tuesday.

The country’s defense minister, Jaroslav Nad, posted a screenshot of the dennikn.sk article on his Facebook page and wrote that he could confirm that military intelligence had provided the police with ” key information, including “clear evidence” related to the case, but he gave no details.

“This is just the beginning, I think the structure has opened up well. And we will go further. Clearly and thoroughly,” the minister wrote.

The Russian Embassy in Bratislava had no immediate comment.

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Reporting by Jan Lopatka, additional reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Gareth Jones and Hugh Lawson

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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