Russia detains Ukraine diplomat

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Saint Petersburg

Russia’s FSB security service said on Saturday it had detained a Ukrainian diplomat, accusing him of receiving sensitive information from a Russian national.

In recent years Russia has detained a number of Ukrainian nationals on suspicion of spying but the detention of a diplomat is rare and seen as a sign of sharply rising tensions.

“A Ukrainian diplomat, a consul of Ukraine’s Consulate General in Saint Petersburg, Alexander Sosonyuk, has been detained by Russia’s FSB,” the security service said in a statement, using the Russian language spelling of his name.

He had been detained on Friday, the security service said. Kiev confirmed the diplomat had spent several hours in detention and was now back in the Ukrainian diplomatic mission.

Russia’s domestic intelligence agency said Sosonyuk had been caught “red-handed” during a meeting with a Russian national as he sought to receive “classified” information.— AFP