Russia Wants to Expel the UK's Defense Attache - Latest Global News

Russia Wants to Expel the UK’s Defense Attache

Moscow declares AT Coghill persona non grata in response to London’s expulsion of the Russian defense attache over espionage allegations.

In response to London’s expulsion of Russia’s defense attache earlier this month over espionage allegations, Russia has declared the United Kingdom’s defense attache persona non grata and given the diplomat a week to leave the country.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it summoned a representative of the British Embassy in Moscow on Thursday to express its “strong protest in connection with the unfriendly and unfounded decision” to expel the Russian attaché from London.

“We emphasized that we consider this move to be a politically motivated action of a clearly Russophobic nature that will cause irreparable damage to bilateral relations,” the statement said.

“The defense attache at the British Embassy in Moscow, AT Coghill, has been declared persona non grata. He must leave the territory of the Russian Federation within a week,” the ministry said.

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps called Russia’s expulsion of Coghill “a desperate move.”

“While Russia’s prosecutors were acting as a spy in the UK, Putin’s only problem with ours was that they embodied Britain’s unwavering support for Ukraine,” Shapps said.

The United Kingdom announced several measures on May 8 to target Moscow’s intelligence operations in the United Kingdom.

These included the expulsion of Maxim Elovik, a Russian colonel whom the British government described as an “undeclared military intelligence officer,” the removal of the diplomatic status of several Russian-owned properties because they were suspected of being used for intelligence purposes, and the introduction of new restrictions on Russian diplomatic activities Visas and visits.

The government said the measures followed criminal proceedings in London involving espionage and sabotage by people acting on behalf of Russia.

There were also allegations that the Russian government planned to sabotage military aid to Ukraine in Germany and Poland and carried out espionage in Bulgaria and Italy, as well as conducting cyber and disinformation activities, committing airspace violations and jamming GPS signals in order to disrupt civilian air traffic hinder.

The United Kingdom has had a tense relationship with Russia for years and has accused its agents of targeted killings and espionage, including cyberattacks against British parliamentarians and sharing and amplifying sensitive information in the interests of Russian interests.

After Russia sent troops into Ukraine, the United Kingdom also imposed sanctions on hundreds of wealthy Russians and cracked down on money laundering in London’s real estate and financial markets.

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