A naval officer has been arrested in Italy for allegedly spying on behalf of Russia. Two diplomats from the Russian embassy in Rome are also being deported. Russia has said it will respond similarly to Italy.
During an operation by Italian security forces last night, an Italian naval officer was caught giving confidential documents to a military official at the Russian embassy at a stop in Rome.
An Italian officer has been arrested for allegedly giving military documents to Russia in exchange for money.
According to reports in the Italian press, the Italian officer received 5,000 euros in exchange for a military document.
This morning, Russia’s ambassador to Italy, Sergei Razov, was summoned to the Italian Foreign Ministry after the operation.
After meeting with the Russian ambassador, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said, “We conveyed to the Russian ambassador in Italy the strong protest of the Italian government and said that the two Russian officials involved in this very serious incident would be deported immediately.
Identities are not disclosed
The identities of the Italian and Russian officials were not disclosed.
Italian media reported that the detainee was a captain of a frigate of the Italian navy and that the person he secretly met at the parking lot last night was a military officer at the Russian embassy.
Both officials are accused of espionage and endangering national security.
While the Italian officer is being held, Russian officials will be deported for their diplomatic immunity.
Italian media described the incident as “the worst since the Cold War.”
The Russian embassy in Rome said it hoped the incident would not have a negative impact on bilateral relations.