Russia’s FSB detains and expels Japanese consul on espionage charges

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MOSCOW/TOkyo (Reuters) – Russian news agencies said on Monday they had detained a Japanese consul in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok on espionage charges and ordered him to leave the country.

Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported, quoting government sources, that the consul was released a few hours after he was detained by the Russian agency.

The FSB said the consul was declared persona non grata after he was caught “red-handed” receiving classified information about the effects of Western sanctions on the economic situation in Russia’s Far East.

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She said the classified information, which also relates to Russia’s cooperation with an unnamed country in the Asia-Pacific region, was obtained for a “financial reward”.

The agencies quoted the Federal Security Bureau as saying that Russia had protested to Japan.

Japan’s Embassy in Russia lodged a strong protest against the arrest of the Moscow Foreign Ministry, saying it was a “clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”, and the order to leave the country was “unreasonable,” according to Kyodo.

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Reporting by Reuters. Editing by Nick McPhee and Jerry Doyle

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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