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Iran Press TV

Russia summons Ukraine's envoy over 'unlawful activity' of consul

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 17 April 2021 6:17 PM

Russia has summoned Ukraine's chargé d'affaires to inform the diplomat about of the expulsion by April 22 of a Ukrainian consul detained on the grounds that he 'obtained classified data' from the databases of Russian law-enforcement agencies and the Federal Security Service (FSB).

On Saturday, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had summoned Ukraine's Charge D'Affaires Ad Interim in Russia Vasily Pokotilo earlier in the day "over the unlawful activity of a consul of Ukraine's General Consulate in St. Petersburg who was detained on April 16."

The ministry said the consul, Alexander Sosonyuk, who was detained by the FSB, must leave the Russian territory by the said date.

"The Russian side pointed to the inadmissibility of such activity incompatible with the consular status and damaging the security interests of the Russian Federation. It stated that his stay on Russian territory was undesirable and recommended that he should leave it within 72 hours beginning from April 19," the statement read, according to TASS news agency.

According to an FSB statement, what Sosonyuk has purportedly done "is incompatible with the status of the diplomatic employee and is of clearly hostile nature towards the Russian Federation."

Relations between Moscow and Kiev have been at the lowest level for the past six years. Tensions have been on the rise in and over the Russian-speaking Donbass region of Ukraine, where Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia forces have been fighting since 2014, when the then Ukrainian territory of Crimea voted in a referendum to join Russia.

Kiev and its Western allies believe the reunification amounts to an annexation of the territory.

They accuse Moscow of having a hand in the crisis. Russia denies the allegation.

Kiev and Moscow have since traded blame for a spike in violence in Donbass.

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