Russians expelled in Nato spy storm

Russians expelled in Nato spy storm

By Tony Barber in Brussels

Published: April 30 2009 03:00 | Last updated: April 30 2009 03:00
Nato ordered the expulsion of two Russian diplomats yesterday in retaliation for a spy scandal in which a senior Estonian official was jailed for passing top-level secrets about the western alliance to Moscow.

One of the expelled Russians was the son of Vladimir Chizhov, Moscow's ambassador to the European Union. He and the other envoy were attached to Russia's mission to Nato and are said to have worked undercover as intelligence agents, alliance sources said.

Russia did not immediately react to Nato's move. But the expulsions come at a sensitive time as the west tries to rebuild ties with Moscow following last summer's Russia-Georgia war.

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This is a follow up to the estonian spy story of last year...
Nato ordered the expulsion of two Russian diplomats yesterday
I know it is being reported as such, but NATO has no powers to order the expulsion of anyone from a sovereign member country. I imagine that what happened is that NATO has withdrawn accreditation from two members of the Russian diplomatic mission to NATO.

...the expulsion was in response to the affair of Herman Simm, an Estonian official, convicted of treason in February and jailed for 12 years by an Estonian court for passing NATO and other defence and diplomatic secrets to Russia.

It is noteworthy that neither the alliance nor Estonia then lodged any formal protests with Russia.

The Financial Times said the two expelled Russian diplomats were not directly involved in the Estonian spy affair, but NATO sources said the scandal had caused such damage to the alliance's security that it had to deliver a hard response.
Will Russian spies try to dig secret information further? Yes. Do Western secret services operate in Russia? Yes. So does it have any sense? ... Yes. It has been made for internal consumption, to demonstrate will, strength, determination... and Russian government will expell two diplomats, no doubt

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