Russia Expels Two Swedish Diplomats

(Bloomberg) -- Russia expelled two Swedish diplomats in what Moscow described as retaliation for Stockholm's denial of accreditation to its diplomats in the wake of a spying case.

The envoys in Moscow were “asked to leave Russia” after Swedish authorities refused to extend a Russian diplomat’s visa and denied other visa applications for embassy staff, Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sofia Nahringbauer said Wednesday. She declined to comment on whether Sweden will take counter-measures.

A Russian diplomat left Sweden after the arrest in February on suspicion of spying of a Swedish citizen whom he had met for lunch. the state-run Tass news service reported. Russia applied for visas for new diplomats but the applications were rejected, it said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed the expulsion of Swedish diplomats, without specifying the number, and described the move as a tit-for-tat response at her weekly press conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

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