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AFP
April 17, 2021

Europe on alert as Russia steps up aggressive spying

World

AFP
April 17, 2021

PARIS: Three years after the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats from the West over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, Moscow’s representatives in Europe are coming under scrutiny again following a raft of new spy scandals.

From Austria to Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, Russian diplomats have been expelled from several European countries in the past few months over Moscow’s increasingly aggressive spying tactics.

The issue has become all the more acute over alleged cyber attacks by Russia on the US, which Moscow has dismissed as nonsense but prompted the EU to issue a strong statement of solidarity.

Italy was the latest country to send Russian envoys packing earlier this month after a navy captain was caught handing over classified documents to a Russian agent. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio summoned Russia’s ambassador to Rome and expelled two diplomats over what he called a "hostile act".