NATO Boots 2 Russians for Spying on HQ

Moscow charges expulsion is ploy to sabotage relations
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 2:42 AM CDT
Russia's ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, addresses the media in Brussels last year.   (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
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(Newser) – NATO has expelled two Russian diplomats from its Brussels headquarters for spying, officials announced. The expulsion of the diplomats, one of whom is the son of Russia's EU ambassador, provoked an angry response from Moscow, which accused NATO of deliberately sabotaging relations. The spy scandal is the most serious rift between NATO and Russia since the war in South Ossetia last summer, reports the Guardian.

NATO officials say that Russia has increased its espionage activities recently following the conviction of an Estonian who passed NATO materials to Russia's foreign intelligence service. But Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's notoriously provocative ambassador to the military alliance, insisted that the accusations were "invented, irresponsible, and provocative."