Russian Foreign Ministry declares two Swedish diplomats persona non grata
The Russian government decided to declare two Swedish diplomats persona non grata. On December 2, Swedish ambassador to Moscow, Sven Hirdman, was invited to come to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Mr. Hirdman was informed about the decision of the Russian government to declare two employees of the Swedish embassy persona non grata. This decision was made in connection with the activity, which caused damage to Russia’s security interests.
This measure was taken in return to the decision of the Swedish government to expel two Russian diplomats. On November 11th, the Russian embassy in Stockholm was informed that two Russian diplomats were declared persona non grata. The government of Sweden decided so on account of the fact that Russian diplomats’ activity did not correspond to their status.
Swedish mass media reported that the expulsion of the diplomats was connected with the investigation regarding the industrial espionage against Swedish giant telecom maker Ericsson.
Here is the gist of the scandal. On November 6th, the Security Service of Sweden announced that there were three Swedish nationals detained on November 5th on the outskirts of Stockholm. The detained men were suspected of industrial spying. One of them is allegedly the main figure of the case. It is believed that he sold secret documents of the Swedish concern to foreign intelligence for a certain period of time. That man was nabbed, when he was handing over some information to a representative of that service. The same day, spokesman for the telecommunication company Ericsson, Henry Stenson, clarified that the three arrested men were the employees of the concern. He added that their spying caused a “limited” damage to the company.
It became possible to arrest spying-suspected people owing to Ericsson’s cooperation with police. Ericsson is the leading Swedish telecom maker. The concern deals with the development of up-to-date communication means.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov