The Russian internal security service FSB has detained the consul of Estonia in Saint Petersburg. The diplomat of the EU and NATO member state was caught in the act when he allegedly received classified information from a Russian, Russian media report.
The incident comes at a time of already high tensions between the European Union and NATO with the Moscow regime, which has seen many diplomats expelled from both sides.
The FSB announced it would take action against the foreign diplomat “following the standards of international law.” The counterintelligence service accuses him of “openly hostile” activities incompatible with his status. However, the FSB did not disclose the nature of the confidential information.
According to the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the consul general was detained for 1.5 hours. A spokeswoman called the arrest a provocation and a new example of the Russian confrontation course.
The consul would have been ambushed. The accusations against him are completely unfounded, according to the spokeswoman. Earlier this year, Moscow expelled Estonian diplomats after Russia’s small Baltic neighbour had expelled several Russian diplomats.
Russia is at loggerheads with the EU and NATO over, among other things, the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula in 2014. Western countries are anticipating more Russian aggression.