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MOSCOW, January 20 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian diplomats allegedly “expelled” from Canada in reality left the country back in 2011 within the framework of a routine rotation of specialists, the Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on media reports about the expulsion of diplomats.
“We paid attention to ‘sensational reports’ of Canadian media outlets first about the detention of a Canadian naval officer on suspicion of passing secrets to foreign representatives, and now about the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Canada in that connection,” ministry sources said.
“We don’t know all circumstances of the case, which according to the same reports, has not been even reviewed in court as of yet,” they explained. “Allegations that the arrested officer was allegedly passing secrets to Russia as well as the information about the expulsion of staffers of the Russian Embassy in Ottawa, who in reality left Canada last year within the framework of planned rotation at the end of their mission, cause bewilderment,” the sources emphasized.
“Let the reporters spreading these conjectures have them on their conscience,” they added. “If the Canadian side really makes any unfriendly steps against Russia and its representatives, we will not leave them without an adequate answer,” the sources stressed.
Four Russian embassy staff members have been expelled from their stations in Ottawa, CTV News and the Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Friday referring to their sources.