‘Crimson handed’: Italy arrests navy captain, expels Russian officers after spies caught in act

Ministry of International Affairs of Russia major constructing is seen in Moscow, Russia on 28 March 2018.

PHOTO: Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Company/Getty Photos

  • Italy expelled two Russian officers following the
    arrest of an Italian navy captain who was caught promoting secret paperwork.
  • The captain was arrested on spying costs, however the
    Russian, an embassy official, was protected by diplomatic immunity.
  • The captain was paid €5 000 in money by the Russian
    for the key paperwork.

Rome – Italy expelled two Russian officers on
Wednesday after an Italian navy captain was allegedly caught red-handed promoting
secret paperwork to a Russian army officer.

The frigate captain was arrested on spying costs
after a “clandestine assembly” with the Russian late on Tuesday in
Rome, in response to a police assertion.

Particular operations police stopped each males, however
solely the Italian was arrested. He’s accused of passing on “confidential
paperwork” in alternate for cash.

The Russian, an embassy official, averted custody
due to diplomatic immunity, police mentioned.

Italian International Minister Luigi Di Maio summoned
Russia’s ambassador to Rome, Sergey Razov, on Wednesday morning to lodge a
formal protest.

The diplomat was notified of “the instant
expulsion of the 2 Russian officers concerned on this very critical
affair”, Di Maio mentioned.

In keeping with La Repubblica newspaper, the navy
captain labored on the workplace of the Chief of the Defence Workers and had entry
“to a variety of paperwork” regarding each Italian defence and
NATO actions.

Corriere della Sera newspaper mentioned the captain was
paid €5 000 in money by the Russian.

Russian spats

Police mentioned the suspected spy was found after
lengthy investigations led by Italy’s home intelligence company AISI, with
help from the Chief of the Defence Workers.

La Repubblica mentioned it was the “most
critical” incident with Russia because the finish of the Chilly Conflict, recalling a
1989 incident when Russian and Bulgarian spies had been found in Italy.

Moscow is embroiled in a sequence of rows with the
West, most just lately over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, a transfer
that triggered EU sanctions in opposition to senior Russian officers.

However Italy is likely one of the nations inside the
European Union and NATO with the warmest relations with Russia. Former prime
minister Silvio Berlusconi is a good friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian embassy in Rome confirmed that an
official within the workplace of the army attaché was stopped by police on
Tuesday, however mentioned it was “inappropriate to remark” intimately.

The embassy

In any case, we hope that what occurred won’t have an effect on the bilateral relationship between Russia and Italy.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov had the identical message.

‘Unconstructive, confrontational insurance policies’

“We do not have details about the explanations
for or the circumstances of this detention,” he mentioned.

He mentioned: 

However in any case, we hope that the very optimistic and constructive nature of Russian-Italian relations will proceed and might be preserved.

Bulgaria, an EU and NATO member like Italy,
expelled two Russian diplomats final week after six individuals had been arrested,
together with a number of defence ministry officers, on suspicion of spying for

Additionally final week, the Kremlin issued a press release in
which Putin bemoaned “the unsatisfactory state of Russia-EU ties”,
which he blamed on the “unconstructive, usually confrontational insurance policies of
our companions”.

Earlier this month, relations between Moscow and
Washington sank to a brand new low after US President Joe Biden referred to as the Russian
president a “killer”, main Putin to say: “It takes one to
know one.”

Supply hyperlink

Comment here