Sweden expels five Russian diplomats amid high-profile investigation into Russian spies

25 April, 06:52 PM
Embassy of the Russian Federation in Sweden (Photo:Посольство РФ у Швеції / Facebook)

Embassy of the Russian Federation in Sweden (Photo:Посольство РФ у Швеції / Facebook)

Sweden is expelling five Russian diplomats who are suspected of spying for the Kremlin, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström has said.

Russian Ambassador Viktor Tatarintsev was summoned to the Swedish Foreign Ministry, where he was informed that five embassy employees were asked to leave the country because their activities were incompatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Billström said in an interview with Swedish national public television broadcaster SVT Nyheter on April 25.

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The announcement cones a day before the release of the next chapter of the high-profile “War of Shadows,” an investigative series about the activities of Russian intelligence officers in Sweden.

The Russian ambassador declined to comment.

Last year, Sweden expelled three Russian diplomats, claiming that they were Russian intelligence officers.

According to the Swedish security police, one in three Russian diplomats actually works for one of Russia's intelligence services and poses a threat to national security.

"These are civil servants who have the task of simply collecting information and influencing the country in the direction they want," said Daniel Stenling, head of the counterintelligence department.

The move comes days after Germany expelled 20 Russian diplomats for similar reasons. 

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