[QODLink]
Europe
Romania expels Russian diplomat
Order comes one day after Moscow asks Romanian diplomat to leave Russia for "spying".
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2010 19:45 GMT

Romania has ordered the expulsion of an unnamed Russian diplomat, a day after a Romanian diplomat was told by Moscow to leave Russia on spying charges.

Romania's foreign ministry said in a statement it "has informed Russian authorities of its decision to declare persona non grata a diplomat in the Russian embassy in Bucharest of the same diplomatic rank".

On Monday, Russia's FSB security agency said it had asked Gabriel Grecu, who was accredited as the first secretary at the Romanian embassy in Moscow, to leave the country within 48 hours.

The FSB said Grecu had been caught trying to receive secret military information and had "spying equipment" on him.

Video 'evidence'

On Tuesday, the FSB released a video it said showed Grecu picking up military secrets at a bag drop.

The Romanian foreign ministry accused Russian authorities of a "serious violation" of diplomatic protocol by detaining their diplomat.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the serious violation by the Russian authorities of the Vienna conventions on diplomatic protocol of 1961 by the detention during the day of August 16 of a Romanian diplomat accredited to Moscow and the completely inadequate treatment to which they subjected him," it said in a statement.

The ministry said Grecu would leave Russia within the 48-hour deadline set by Russian authorities.

Relations between Romania and Russia have become increasingly tense since Bucharest's decision to host three batteries of interceptor missiles as part of a planned US defence shield in Europe.

In February, Russia said it has "serious questions regarding the true purpose of the US missile system," and denounced the lack of  transparency by Bucharest and Washington on the issue.

Romanian and US officials have attempted to reassure Moscow several times that the system is purely defensive.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.