Spain confirms mutual expulsion of diplomats with RussiaDecember 29th, 2010 - 11:53 am ICT by IANS
Madrid, Dec 29 (IANS/EFE) Spain’s foreign ministry confirmed Tuesday that Russia expelled two Spanish diplomats in response to Madrid’s decision last month to expel two Russians “for conducting activities incompatible with their status”.The two Spanish diplomats expelled from Moscow last week have the rank of secretary, Foreign Ministry sources told EFE.
The Spanish daily La Razon reported Dec 10 that the expulsion of the two Russian officials was due to their engaging in acts of espionage.
Both governments “consider the incident over and done with, and are working to staff their diplomatic delegations as soon as possible”, the Spanish foreign ministry said.
Spain’s top diplomat, Trinidad Jimenez, will fly to Moscow Jan 16 to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for the purpose of settling the crisis once and for all, and to review the state of bilateral relations.
Spain and Russia will celebrate the 2011 “Dual Year” with the goal of strengthening political, economic, cultural and social ties, and the Spanish foreign ministry said that “the entire programme of activities for that event remains as planned”.
Russian officials have made no comments as yet about the incident of the expulsions.
Jimenez proceeded to banish the two Russian diplomats following a request from the director of Spain’s CNI intelligence service, Gen. Felix Sanz Roldan, who presented “solid proof” of espionage, the Madrid daily El Pais said.
This has been one of the most notorious diplomatic conflicts since Spain and Russia re-established relations in February 1977, 18 months after the end of the Franco dictatorship.
The two countries had another significant incident in July 2007, when the CNI announced the arrest of ex-agent Roberto Florez for offering Russia classified information.
The CNI’s then-chief, Alberto Saiz, gave an unprecedented press conference at which he explained the case, which he defined as “unique in the history of Spanish intelligence services”, though it did not endanger the security of Spain, NATO or the European Union.
Florez was sentenced to 12 years in jail in democratic Spain’s first prosecution for treason, but the Supreme Court last week reduced his sentence to nine years.
The high court concluded that it was not proved that Florez revealed the information to Russia, though he could have had the intention of offering it to that nation’s secret service.
- Russia expels two Spanish diplomats in response to expulsion of two Russian diplomats - Dec 29, 2010
- Spain expels Libyan envoy - Jun 17, 2011
- Spain demands apology from Iran for diplomat's arrest - Feb 16, 2011
- Canada has not expelled diplomats: Russia - Jan 21, 2012
- Spain prepares to temporarily close its embassy in Libya - Mar 02, 2011
- Libyan rebels seek financial help from Spain - Jul 22, 2011
- Russia to retaliate for diplomat's expulsion from Ireland - Feb 02, 2011
- Ireland reveals name of expelled Russian diplomat - Feb 04, 2011
- Al Qaeda planned to attack Gibraltar during Olympics - Aug 06, 2012
- Spanish jobless rate climbs above 24 percent - Apr 28, 2012
- Diplomat's expulsion: Venezuela to close Miami consulate - Jan 14, 2012
- Spanish journalist to be freed from Cuban prison - Jan 17, 2012
- New album mixes flamenco and Mexican songs - Nov 22, 2011
- Four journalists held by Gaddafi forces: Human Rights Watch - Apr 08, 2011
- Spain carries out 94 organ transplants in 72 hours - Dec 06, 2011
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,