“UK Expels Senior Russian Diplomat on Spy Charges,” Says Foreign Minister James Cleverly

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James Cleverly has declared the expulsion of a senior Russian diplomat from the UK following allegations of espionage.

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The Home Secretary informed the Commons that the Russian defense attaché had been implicated in an attack on a London commercial property owned by a Ukrainian. Five individuals have been detained in relation to this incident.

Mr. Cleverly stated that the attack represents “a pattern of suspected Russian activity across Europe.”

He continued: “Since the invasions, the actions and threats from Russia have only increased. These activities are crafted by Russia to extend the war [in Ukraine] throughout Europe.”

While investigations are still ongoing and criminal court proceedings are in progress, Mr. Cleverly affirmed that he possesses sufficient evidence to act against Russia.

This includes revoking the diplomatic status of Russian properties in the UK, such as their trade and defense offices in Highgate.

He has also implemented restrictions on diplomatic visas for Russia, reducing the maximum duration that diplomats can stay in the UK.

The Home Secretary noted: “In the coming days, we should anticipate accusations of Russophobia, conspiracy theories, and hysteria from the Russian government.

“This is not novel, and neither the British people nor the British Government will be deceived, nor will we be fooled by Putin’s bots, trolls, and cronies.

“The explanations from Russia were wholly inadequate. Our response will be decisive and strong.

“Our message to Russia is unequivocal: stop this unlawful war, pull your troops out of Ukraine, and end this harmful activity.”

Moscow is expected to level charges of Russophobia and propagate conspiracy theories in retaliation to the UK’s recent measures, as warned by James Cleverly.

Despite these new measures, there was a call from the Tory benches for more stringent actions against Vladimir Putin and Russia.

Conservative former minister Rehman Chishti inquired whether the UK would introduce legislation to confiscate Russian assets, stating: “It’s absolutely vital we do everything possible to cut off Putin’s finances and ensure he funds the reconstruction of Ukraine.”

Mr. Cleverly responded: “We have clearly stated, we will be incredibly creative, we will strive tirelessly to ensure that those who financed the brutal assault on Ukraine are also responsible for financing its reconstruction, and we will collaborate with our international partners to ensure this happens.”

SNP home affairs spokesman Stuart McDonald remarked: “What we truly need is fresh ideas, new doctrines, new institutions to counter threats that are continuously evolving, becoming more complex, more aggressive, and extremely well-funded.”

Mr. McDonald requested a written statement to Parliament on hostile disinformation on a “regular basis, informing members of the current threat and the measures being taken to address it”.

Mr. Cleverly acknowledged the suggestion for regular updates because “disinformation and distortions of our democracy and society have a more direct and immediate impact in the UK”.

Labour former minister Sir Chris Bryant questioned: “Why is Russian oil still entering the UK? Why is Russia still exporting as much oil as before the sanctions were implemented?

“Why haven’t we matched the actions of the Americans and the Canadians in not only freezing but seizing Russian state assets for the development of Ukraine?

“Why hasn’t the Abramovich funds been transferred to Ukraine yet? This would contribute over £3 billion more than what the UK has allocated so far.

“And could he speak about Vladimir Kara-Murza, a courageous man many of us here have met, to ensure the UK Government is doing everything possible to protect him in Russia.”

Mr. Cleverly answered: “Sanctions evasion, and combatting it, inherently requires international collaboration, as I mentioned, enforcement primarily lies with the Treasury, and international cooperation is mainly within the scope of the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), but certainly, we all endeavor to prevent sanctions evasion.”

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