Romania to Expel Russian Diplomat

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania's Foreign Ministry moved to expel a Russian diplomat working at the embassy in Bucharest on Tuesday after Moscow detained a senior Romanian diplomat on allegations of espionage.

The Federal Security Service said it detained Gabriel Grecu on Monday after he was caught trying to obtain military intelligence and ordered him to leave Russia within 48 hours.

Romania's Foreign Ministry said it had notified Russia that a diplomat at the Russian Embassy with the equivalent ranking as Grecu had been declared persona non grata.

It said in a statement that the unidentified diplomat must leave Romania within 48 hours.

The ministry earlier condemned what it called a "severe breach by Russian authorities of the 1961 Vienna Convention regarding diplomatic relations."

The FSB said Grecu was employed by Romania's intelligence services and "working undercover as the first secretary of the political department of the Romanian Embassy."

Russia in February expressed concern over U.S. plans to install interceptor missiles in Romania in what Washington said was defense against potential threats from Iran.

U.S. missile shield plans have angered Russia, which sees them as a threat to its own nuclear arsenal and has bristled at what it says is meddling by Washington in its sphere of influence.

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