Romania blasts Russia for diplomat's arrest

17th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The Romanian foreign ministry Tuesday accused Russian authorities of a "serious violation" of diplomatic protocol by arresting a Romanian diplomat working in Moscow for spying.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the serious violation by the Russian authorities of the Vienna conventions on diplomatic protocol of 1961 by the detention during the day of August 16 of a Romanian diplomat accredited to Moscow and the completely inadequate treatment to which they subjected him," it said in a statement.

The Romanian foreign ministry said it had transmitted the message to the Russian embassy in Bucharest.

Russia's FSB security agency said on Monday it had detained a Romanian diplomat for spying, and ordered him to leave the country within 48 hours.

The FSB named him as Gabriel Grecu, who was accredited as the first secretary at the Romanian embassy, and said he had been caught trying to receive secret military information and had "spying equipment" on him.

The Romanian diplomat's expulsion comes shortly after the biggest spy swap between Russia and the United States since the Cold War in July, after Washington busted a group of 10 Kremlin spies and deported them in return for four Russians accused of spying for the West.

© 2010 AFP

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