The issue of military espionage in Italy is going to become a diplomatic crisis

An issue that could compromise relations between Rome and Moscow. On Wednesday, March 31, Italian law enforcement agencies said in a statement that an Italian Navy officer was arrested Tuesday night on charges of spying for Russia. According to the same sources, the suspect was delivering the documents. “Valuable for the amount of money” For a Russian officer.

The operation was carried out under the supervision of the Italian Counter-Intelligence Service and the Defense Staff. The captain of a naval frigate and an officer accredited with the Embassy of the Russian Federation were both charged with espionage and serious crimes related to state security., Select the shooters. He explained that the Russian officer protected by his diplomatic status had not been arrested, but would have been expelled from the country. Corriere della Sera,

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Russian ambassador plays peacemaker

The next day, on Wednesday morning, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio summoned the Russian ambassador to Rome. The latter confirmed the arrest“Office of the Official Military Attache”.,

There is no need to comment on what happened at the moment. In any case, we hope that what has happened will not affect the bilateral relations between Russia and Italy.”As stated in the statement of the Russian Embassy.

However, in light of the announcement by the head of Italian diplomacy, in the middle of the day, of the expulsion of two Russian officials, the future of their relationship appears bleak. decision that “abortion” Russian Ambassador.

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The fate of the officer caught in the crime is yet to be decided. According to the Italian press agency AGIC by judicial sources, is “Sarah” He provided his interlocutor with copies of military documents relating to Italy, as well as NATO and the Exchange “Sarah” Produced in the capital’s parking lot. According to several Italian media, the operation brought him 5,000 euros in cash.

tense context

The case fits into the tense context, especially because of the Navalny case and several other espionage cases. Moscow accuses EU of positioning “confrontation” against him, while the EU blames Russia for the deterioration of relations, and urges to do so ‘Continuous Progress’ on human rights “Stop Cyber ​​Attacks” against its member states.

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The United Kingdom declared itself through the voice of its Foreign Minister Dominic Rabo In solidarity with Italy and with the measures taken today to expose and act against Russia’s malicious and destabilizing activities aimed at undermining our NATO ally. , For its part, NATO declined to comment. And the Russian diplomat quoted by Interfax indicated that he would continue to communicate ” Later “ In response to expulsion.

Several German media outlets confirmed on Friday 26 March that German lawmakers, including some members of the Bundestag as well as various political figures, were victims of the cyberattack, the effects of which can be traced back to Russia.

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The same tension in Bulgaria, which was announced ten days earlier, led to the expulsion of Russian diplomats after an alleged spy network was discovered for Moscow. Not to mention the August arrest of a French officer stationed at a NATO base in Italy, suspected of providing highly sensitive documents to Russian secret services.

AFP. world with

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