Colombia orders the departure of two Russian diplomats for alleged espionage

Two diplomats of Russian origin, accredited at the Moscow embassy in Bogotá, left the country after the National Government asked Russia to withdraw these two officials.

Regarding the diplomatic incident, the Colombian president, Iván Duque, told ‘NTN24’ that “this situation has been handled in accordance with diplomatic relations established through international treaties.”

The president added that “the message that we want to give is that Colombia is a friendly country, with friendly relations, but it is also a country that is guided by the protocols defined in international conventions and anyone who is outside the principles, in this In any case, from the Vienna convention he will have to leave the country, because he cannot be in diplomatic representation ”.

Likewise, he ruled in the interview: “any diplomat who is in our country and who is acting contrary to the Vienna Convention will be notified to the country so that it may proceed to withdraw those personnel.”

For his part, the director of Migration Colombia, Juan Francisco Espinosa, told reporters that “on December 8, two foreign citizens of Russian nationality who were serving the embassy of that country in our territory left the national territory.”

He added that the reasons that led to the departure of these Russian citizens “are foreign to Migración Colombia and are for State reasons; however, we confirm that these two officials did indeed leave territory that day ”.

“Incompatible activities”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported, through a statement, the reasons that led to the departure of the officials.

“The national government made the decision to request the withdrawal of two Russian diplomatic officials accredited in Colombia, after verifying that they were developing activities in the country incompatible with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” said the Foreign Ministry in a release.

Although the authorities did not explain what the “incompatible activities” of the Russian diplomats were, it was known that foreign citizens collected information on the electricity grid, the country’s hydroelectric plants and the oil infrastructure. The retirees would be two third secretaries of the Russian Government.

The information from the Colombian Foreign Ministry adds that the Colombian decision has “been reciprocally answered by the Government of the Russian Federation, in turn ordering the withdrawal of two Colombian diplomatic officials accredited in Moscow.”

In November 2013, the Colombian Government delivered a diplomatic note to Russia in protest at the violation of its airspace by two Tupolev-160 bombers when they flew between Venezuela and Nicaragua, countries allied to Moscow.

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