The Italian, a captain of a frigate, and the Russian, a army official accredited on the embassy, have been accused of “serious crimes tied to spying and state security” after their assembly on Tuesday night time, Italian police mentioned. The suspects weren’t recognized.
NATO documents have been among the many recordsdata the navy captain handed to the Russian official, Ansa information company mentioned, elevating potential safety worries for different members of the Western army alliance.
The Italian overseas ministry mentioned it had summoned Russian ambassador Sergey Razov following the arrests. Russia’s RIA information company quoted the Russian embassy as saying it hoped the incident wouldn’t have an effect on bilateral relations.
The incident was the most recent in a sequence of spying accusations in latest months in opposition to Russians in European international locations. Bulgaria expelled Russian officers on suspicion of spying in March, and the Netherlands did so in December.
The arrests have been ordered by Rome prosecutors following an extended investigation carried out by the Italian intelligence with the help of the army, the Carabinieri police power mentioned.
The Italian official was taken into custody, whereas the place of the Russian was nonetheless into consideration in view of his diplomatic standing, the police added.
Police didn’t specify the place the arrests had taken place. No additional remark can be made till a Justice of the Peace approves the arrest, they mentioned.