In Italy, two people were detained, who are suspected of spying for Russia, according to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
The detainees are an Italian naval officer and a Russian military man. They were detained during the “exchange of documents”. What information was transmitted is not specified. The newspaper calls the incident “the most serious episode since the Cold War.” The Italian Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador.
According to La Repubblica, the arrest was made after a “lengthy investigation” carried out by the Italian Internal Information and Security Agency in conjunction with a special operations group (part of the Italian carabinieri), intelligence and defense headquarters. The names and positions of the detained officers are not yet known. According to the newspaper, the Italian decided to provide classified information in exchange for money, “probably faced with serious family problems.”
The press service of the Italian carabinieri informs that the detained Russian is an official accredited at the Russian embassy. The Italian soldier was arrested, and “the position of a foreign citizen is still being considered in connection with his diplomatic status,” the police said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on the arrests.
Earlier in March, several people suspected of spying for Russia were detained in Bulgaria. Among the detainees were six current and former employees of the Ministry of Defense and military intelligence of the country. After that, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry decided to expel two Russian diplomats: the local prosecutor’s office claims that they were engaged in intelligence activities.