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Sweden Says Expelling 5 Russian Diplomats

The Russian Embassy in Stockholm. Holger Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Sweden on Tuesday announced it was expelling five Russian diplomats for "activities not compatible" with their diplomatic status.

Sweden's foreign ministry said "five officials at the Russian Embassy in Sweden are being asked to leave the country" due to activities incompatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

The foreign ministry did not specify the nature of the activities, but the announcement came less than two weeks after neighboring Norway expelled 15 diplomats it described as "intelligence officers."

It also came as Nordic public broadcasters — Sweden's SVT, Denmark's DR, Norway's NRK and Finland's Yle — began releasing a jointly produced investigative documentary series on Russian spying activities in the region.

Last week, SVT reported that Russia was using military and civilian ships in order to spy in Swedish waters — part of an espionage program planning the sabotage of energy infrastructures in Northern Europe. 

In April 2022, Sweden, along with several other European countries, expelled three Russian diplomats, with then-Foreign Minister Ann Linde saying they had "conducted illegal intelligence operations in Sweden."

The Swedish Security Service has previously said it believes every third Russian diplomat in the country works for one of Russia's intelligence agencies under diplomatic cover.

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