STOCKHOLM – Sweden on Tuesday (25/4/2023) announced it would expel five diplomats Russia . The move was taken because of “activities inconsistent” with their diplomatic status.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry said five officials at the Russian Embassy in Sweden were asked to leave the country for activities inconsistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
As AFP reported, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not specify the nature of the activity. But the announcement comes less than two weeks after neighboring Norway expelled 15 diplomats it described as “intelligence officers.”
The expulsions also come as the Nordic public broadcasters – Sweden’s SVT, Denmark’s DR, Norway’s NRK and Finland’s Yle – begin releasing a series of co-produced investigative documentaries about Russian espionage activities in the region.
Last week, SVT reported that Russia was using military and civilian vessels to spy on Swedish waters — part of an espionage program that planned to sabotage energy infrastructure in Northern Europe.
In April 2022, Sweden, along with several other European countries, expelled three Russian diplomats, with then-Foreign Minister Ann Linde saying they had “conducted illegal intelligence operations in Sweden”.
Sweden’s Security Service has previously said it believes every third Russian diplomat in the country works for one of Russia’s intelligence agencies under diplomatic cover.