Moldova cuts down Russian embassy staff after Moscow spying efforts exposed
Molova demanded on Wednesday that Russia severely cut down the staff of its embassy following an investigation that exposed how Moscow intensified its surveillance efforts under diplomatic cover.
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Russia’s ambassador to Moldova Oleg Vasnetsov was summoned to the Moldovan foreign ministry and told of Chisinau’s decision to reduce the staff of Russian diplomatic missions by sixty.
Consequently, 45 Russian embassy staff, including 18 diplomats, will have to leave Moldova soon.
"This is done so that there are fewer people in Moldova who are involved in destabilising the country," Moldovan foreign minister Nicu Popescu said.
The decision follows a journalistic investigation into the increased concentration of electronic surveillance equipment on the roof of the Russian embassy in Moldova, which are alcimed to have been used to wiretap Moldovan politicians.
The Russian ambassador told the media that the antennas "were installed during the construction of the embassy building in the late 1990s" and that their replacement with modern equipment was caused by the fact that "many antennas are rusty".
He also threatened Moldova with "obvious retaliatory measures".