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Iran Press TV

Russia expels two Swedish diplomats in tit-for-tat move

Iran Press TV

Wed May 8, 2019 05:52PM

Russia has expelled two Swedish diplomats after Stockholm denied visas to Russian envoys, Sweden's foreign ministry says.

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sofia Nahringbauer said on Wednesday that her country has previously refused to extend the visa of a Russian diplomat and denied Russian applications for diplomatic visas.

"Russia has responded by asking two Swedish diplomats to leave Russia, which we regret," she added.

Nahringbauer declined to comment on whether Stockholm would take further actions.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing in Moscow on Wednesday that the move was in retaliation for Sweden's refusal to grant visas.

The actions come in the wake of a spying row between the two countries.

In February, Sweden's authorities arrested a Swedish technology consultant on suspicion of spying for Russia while he was having dinner at a restaurant in Stockholm with a Russian diplomat.

Back then, Swedish security services said they believed the Swedish citizen had been "recruited as an agent by a Russian intelligence officer posing as a diplomat in Sweden".

The Russian diplomat reportedly left Sweden after being briefly detained.

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