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Russia Summons Swiss and Dutch Envoys Over Spying Allegations

French Ambassador to the U.N. Gerard Araud / Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the ambassadors of Switzerland and the Netherlands in Moscow over what it said were "unsubstantiated accusations" that Russian spies had attempted to hack a Swiss laboratory.

Dutch and Swiss media reported late last week that two Russians had been detained earlier this year over a plot to spy on a Swiss laboratory analyzing chemical and biological weapons, including the Novichok nerve agent. Following the reports, which were confirmed by the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, Bern demanded on Tuesday that Russia cease spying activities on its territory.

In a statement on Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry called the allegations of espionage “unsubstantiated” and said such "confrontational rhetoric" could seriously harm otherwise constructive ties between the two countries.

In a separate statement, the ministry said Dutch Ambassador Renee Jones-Bos had been summoned “in connection to the continued campaign fanning spy mania.”

The statement warned of “the inadmissibility of provocations through the media.”

Reuters contributed reporting.

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