The UK will expel a Russian defence attache


LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Britain will expel Russia’s defence attache, remove diplomatic status from some properties and limit the length of Russian diplomatic visas in response to what interior minister James Cleverly called Moscow’s “malign activity”.
Addressing parliament on Wednesday, Cleverly said Britain was already “an extremely challenging operating environment for Russian intelligence services” but the measures would “only serve to strengthen our resilience to the Russian threat”.
“We will expel the Russian defence attache, who is an undeclared military intelligence officer,” Cleverly said.
“We will remove diplomatic premises status from several Russian-linked properties in the UK … We are imposing new restrictions on Russian diplomatic visas, including capping the length of time Russian diplomats can spend in the UK.”
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia would give an “appropriate response” to Britain’s move.
In April, a British man was charged over alleged hostile state activity intended to benefit Russia, including by allegedly recruiting others for an arson attack on a Ukrainian-linked commercial property in London.
“Our message to Russia is clear, stop this illegal war, withdraw your troops from Ukraine, cease this malign activity.”
Reporting by Sarah Young; writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden, Kate Holton and Gareth Jones


LONDON, May 8 (Reuters)-In response to what Interior Minister James Cleverly referred to as Moscow’s “malign activity,” Britain will banish Russia’s defense attaché, revoke diplomatic status from a few properties, and shorten the duration of Russian diplomatic visas.

On Wednesday, several actions were taken throughout Europe, including the one from Britain. Russia’s ambassador to Estonia was called to protest GPS signal jamming, while Poland reported that a group with ties to Russia had attacked it through hacking.

A spy network operating behind an online media outlet that was exposed by Czech investigators was among the recent attacks that NATO members said they were “deeply concerned” about and that they blamed on Russia. These attacks affected the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

Despite the fact that Britain is already “an extremely challenging operating environment for Russian intelligence services,” Cleverly told the parliament on Wednesday that the measures would “only serve to strengthen our resilience to the Russian threat.”.

Since Moscow began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Britain has imposed multiple waves of sanctions on Russian individuals and companies. Cleverly also stated that the Conservative government would not waver in its support for Kiev.

Cleverly declared, “We will expel the Russian defence attaché, who is an undeclared military intelligence officer.”.

Several properties in the UK . that are connected to Russia will lose their diplomatic premises status. We will be limiting the amount of time that Russian diplomats can stay in the UK in addition to other new restrictions on diplomatic visas. “.

Russia will respond to Britain’s action in a “appropriate manner,” according to Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry.

She also said that Berlin’s move on Monday to call back its ambassador for talks would cause relations to worsen even further and charged that Berlin was exploiting unfounded rumors about Russian hackers to inflame tensions.

A British man was charged in April with hostile state activity aimed at Russia’s advantage, including allegedly organizing others to carry out an arson attack on a London commercial property connected to Ukraine.

Cleverly predicted that the Russian government would “accusations of Russophobia, conspiracy theories and hysteria” in response to Britain’s latest measures, but that the British government would “not be taken for fools”.

He declared, “We will respond with firmness and resolve.”. “We want Russia to understand that this is not a legitimate war; remove your troops from Ukraine and stop your malicious actions. “.

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Sarah Young reported, Elizabeth Piper wrote, and Michael Holden, Kate Holton, and Gareth Jones edited.

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