05:58 GMT09 May 2021
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    According to an official statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry, a staff member from the Italian Embassy will have to leave the country in 24 hours.

    Moscow has declared an Italian diplomat persona non grata, responding to a similar step by Rome.

    "On 26 April, Italian Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano was handed a note from the ministry declaring Assistant Defence Attaché and Naval Attaché Pacifichi 'persona non grata' in retaliation for the unfriendly and unjustified actions of the Italian authorities in relation to the military attaché at the Russian Embassy in Rome", the statement said.
    A view of the Russian Foreign Ministry and one of the Kremlin towers
    © Sputnik / Natalia Seliverstova
    A view of the Russian Foreign Ministry and one of the Kremlin towers

    The spat between the two countries emerged after Italian law enforcement services detained two servicemen on grounds of espionage on 30 March. As a result, Rome expelled two Russian diplomats, claiming they were linked to spy operations in the country.

    Tags:
    expulsion of Russian diplomats, diplomatic expulsions, expulsion, expulsion, Italy, Russia
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