Russia’s principal security agency on Monday detained a Japanese diplomat in Vladivostok for suspected espionage, drawing a “strong protest” from Tokyo.
What Happened: The Federal Security Service released Japanese consul Motoki Tatsunori after a brief detention and ordered him to leave Russia, Reuters reported.
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The agency said Tatsunori was caught “red-handed” receiving secret information on the effects of Western sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s economy and was declared persona non grata after that.
It also accused the diplomat of obtaining classified information concerning Russia’s cooperation with an unnamed Asia-Pacific country in return for a “monetary reward.”
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“The detained consul was not engaging in any illegal activity,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, as he accused Moscow of violating international laws. He said the security officials took the consul into custody in an “intimidating manner,” blindfolding and restraining him.
“A clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” said Matsuno.
He added that Japan’s deputy foreign minister has told the Russian diplomat in Japan that Tokyo “needs to take equivalent steps” and demanded a formal apology from the Kremlin.
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