01:15 GMT +320 October 2019
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    The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building in Moscow

    Swiss and Dutch Envoys Summoned to Russian Foreign Ministry Over Spying Claims

    © Sputnik / Vladimir Vyatkin
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    Previously, Switzerland tightened the procedure for accrediting Russian diplomats, citing suspicions of illegal activity due to media reports on alleged Russian intelligence agents in the country.

    "The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Ambassador of Switzerland to Moscow, Yves Rossier, to demand explanations over recent unsubstantiated accusations against our country over the growing activity of Russian special services in Switzerland, the involvement of certain ‘Russian agents’ in ‘illegal actions against critical Swiss infrastructure’," Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

    The Dutch envoy was also informed of the situation, as the "stirring of spy fever" in the press could also worsen the already damaged relations between the two countries, the ministry added.

    READ MORE: Bern Curtails Russian Diplomats, Alleges Wrongdoing — Swiss Foreign Ministry

    Tensions between Russia and Switzerland escalated earlier in September when the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger released an article in which it claimed that every fourth Russian diplomat in Switzerland was an intelligence agent. The piece also claimed that two Russian nationals had been arrested in the Netherlands when they attempted to spy on a laboratory engaged in nuclear, biological and chemical research, and then deported back to Russia earlier this year.

    According to the newspaper, the plot was exposed by a joint operation of the Swiss, Dutch and British intelligence services.

    The Russian Embassy in Switzerland denied the allegations, calling the media reports "absurd" and pointing out that no evidence had been shown to confirm the accusations.


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