Russian diplomat expelled from Ireland over fake passports

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Ireland on Tuesday expelled a Russian diplomat over his involvement in the production of six fake Irish passports used for espionage, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs informed.

The decision was taken following a Garda Síochána investigation that concluded Russian intelligence agents stole the identities of six Irish citizens to produce fake passports to be used by members of a spy ring.

The Russian spy ring was unveiled by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last year. Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs ordered the Russian embassy to remove the diplomat from Irish soil.

"The individual in question has been asked to leave this jurisdiction by a specified date. It is regrettable that this action has been necessary," said a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Secretary-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs met with Russia's Ambassador to Ireland Mikhail Timoshkin following a meeting with the cabinet and informed him about the decision.

Ambassador Timoshkin was told that the accreditation of a member of his staff with diplomatic status was terminated, in line with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

"The primary responsibility of the Government is to ensure the security and well-being of Irish citizens. The Government has once again made clear that it will not tolerate the fabrication and use of forged Irish passports by agents of a foreign State," added the spokesman.

Last year, the FBI detained twelve Russian nationals in relation with a spy ring. After a long investigation the FBI determined that the 12 people acted as unregistered agents for the Russian government, sending secret messages and following orders received from Russian contacts.


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