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Moscow-based embassies of NATO countries helped anti-government groups, Lavrov says

The top Russian diplomat also spoke about the detention in Germany of two people suspected of spying for Russia

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russian employees hired by Moscow-based embassies of NATO and EU countries worked to support anti-government groups, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with three of the country’s radio stations.

"When we say - or at least used to say, as we now simply shut all that down - to the French, the Americans, the British and other members of the European Union and NATO that their embassies here are involved not just in some actions that are rumored, but we are backing it up. Locally hired Russian employees - there was such a category. They were hired for a certain kind of work: administrative and technical work. And when they are sent to the regions, used as part of this society, they work to support anti-government movements of all sorts and foreign agents, it causes outrage," he said in an interview with Sputnik, Govorit Moskva and Komsomolskaya Pravda radio stations.

In 2021, in connection with hostile actions by the US, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on measures to completely stop US diplomatic missions from hiring Russians or any third-country nationals as administrative and technical staff.

Lavrov also spoke about the detention in Germany of two people suspected of spying for Russia.

"Two random Germans have now been caught somewhere who spied and plotted terrorist attacks against US military bases in Germany," the minister said. "Immediately, the [Russian] ambassador was summoned."

At the same time, Lavrov said that "months of preparation for a terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, on an infrastructure project that is extremely profitable for Germany," went unnoticed. That happened even though the effort "involved the armed forces, maritime and air forces of many NATO countries, which has now been made public knowledge," according to the minister.

"But the two citizens who were only plotting terrorist attacks, as they said, were found instantly," he said.