An Italian navy officer has been arrested after being caught in the act of handing secret documents to a Russian military official. The men were stopped by military police on suspicion of serious crimes relating to espionage and state security.
According to the Italian Media, the exchange happened in a car park involving 5,900 dollars. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said two Russian officials involved in the affair were expelled with immediate effect.
“The Italian official was taken into custody, while the position of the foreign national is still under consideration in relation to his diplomatic status.”
Russia’s foreign ministry said: “We regret the expulsion from Rome of two employees of the Russian embassy. We are investigating the circumstances of the decision.”
The added, “We will make a further announcement on our possible next steps in relation to this measure, which does not correspond to the level of bilateral relations.”
Russia’s ambassador Sergey Razov has been summoned to the foreign ministry in Rome.