A Russian army official and an Italian navy captain were arrested on suspicion of spying after authorities caught them swapping a document for money during a secret meeting, the Italian Carabinieri police service announced on Wednesday.
“Carabinieri intervened during a clandestine meeting between the two, immediately after the transfer of a document by the Italian officer in exchange for a sum of money,” the Italian police said in a statement. “Both are accused of serious crimes tied to spying and state security.”
According to the police, the clandestine meeting between the captain of an Italian frigate and the Russian diplomat – an official who has official ties with the Russian embassy in Rome – happened on Tuesday night.
The Italian police did not identify the two suspects.
In a statement, the Italian foreign ministry said that it has summoned Russian ambassador Sergey Razov following the arrests of the two suspects. Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti quoted the Russian embassy saying that it was hopeful that the incident would not have any negative effect on the bilateral relations of the two European nations.
“The Italian official was taken into custody, while the position of the foreign national is still under consideration in relation to his diplomatic status,” the Carabinieri police added.
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