Russia has expelled Israel’s military attaché to Moscow over alleged espionage charges, saying he has passed sensitive information to Tel Aviv.
Air Force Colonel Vadim Leiderman was arrested during a May 12 meeting with Russian officials, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on Wednesday.
He was then questioned and told to leave the country immediately.
The newspaper called the arrest a violation of the official’s diplomatic immunity. The protection has prevented Moscow from leveling charges against him.
Israel’s military has claimed Leiderman has been subjected to “a thorough examination, which found that espionage claims are unfounded.”
“The past few days have seen hectic efforts by Israel to appease Moscow and stop the already grave diplomatic incident from escalating further, but the Russians seem adamant to exhaust all the legal measures at their disposal against the officer,” Israel’s Ynetnews website reported.
“Israel has substantial political and security interests in Russia and is now concentrating on damage control,” the report said.
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