It’s being dubbed a diplomatic expulsion tit-for-tat by media across the world: news has finally come out about a November incident when Spain accused two Russian diplomats of having “engaged in activities incompatible with their status,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, according to BBC News.
This language is just another way of saying “spying.”
AFP reports Russia retaliated by expelling two Spanish diplomats from Moscow.
A written statement read by a Spanish foreign ministry spokesman read: “The two governments believe the incident is closed.”
The Moscow News identifies Spain’s expelled diplomats as political advisor at the Spanish embassy in Moscow, Ignacio Cartagena, and first secretary of the embassy, Borja Cortes-Breton.
The News goes on to say, “Sources at the ministry said the incident would not affect bilateral relations…”
The conflict arrives at a friendly moment for the two countries. Russia will soon celebrate a “Year of Spain” while Spain will hold their own “Year of Russia”. BBC News found “the Spanish government had not publicised its expulsions last month because it did not want to spoil the forthcoming events.”
The spy scandal is also the most serious diplomatic incident between the two countries since Moscow restored diplomatic relations with Madrid in 1977, BBC News writes, following the death of veteran right-wing dictator Francisco Franco.