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Russian ambassador criticizes Germany for lack of answers in spy case

During the visit to the German foreign ministry on April 18, 2024, we did not receive any answers to our questions, Sergey Nechayev said

BERLIN, April 22. /TASS/. The German foreign ministry has not answered a single question concerning the detention of individuals suspected of working for Russian intelligence while the Russian side was warned about "extra measures" being taken as a result of the probe, Russian Ambassador to Berlin Sergey Nechayev told TASS.

When asked to comment on the German foreign ministry’s statement that Berlin rejects the embassy’s position expressed to the ambassador during his visit to the ministry, he said, "I don’t really understand what the German side actually rejects. During the visit to the German foreign ministry on April 18, 2024, we did not receive any answers to our questions."

"What is most important, they did not explain what these serious charges against those detained were grounded on and why they decided that they were linked with Russian structures. Neither the names of those detained, nor any evidence of their being Russian citizens were given," he said. "They provided no explanations why no official notification about the detention of Russian citizens, if these people are really Russian nationals, had been issued as it is envisaged. They did not answer the question about consular access."

"Lat but not least, what they mean by charging the detained with being linked to the ‘terrorist organization Donetsk People’s Republic,’ in particular, when was the DPR recognized as ‘terrorist organization’ in Germany?" the ambassador went on to say. "Instead, they warned us about the inadmissibility of ‘such activities’ in Germany and possible ‘extra measures’ that might be taken by the German side in the course of the investigation."

According to Nechayev, the Russian side rejected "ungrounded allegations about Russia’s possible involvement in plotting attacks on Germany’s military infrastructure, including US military bases." "And, bearing in mind the above-mentioned ‘extra measures’ against us, we warned that unfriendly actions, if any, will not remain unanswered. I don’t think this can be seen as a threat," he noted.

"The hype around this case in Germany reveals an attempt to influence the local information background in the anti-Russian spirit, to scare people by ‘omnipresent Russian spies’ and the growing ‘Russian threat,’ which has allegedly reached Germany," the ambassador said. "The anti-Russian campaign, which is being deliberately whipped up in Germany and projected to the large diaspora of our compatriots residing in that country causes our regret and concern."

Arrests in Germany

The German prosecutor general’s office on April 18 announced the detention of two men on the suspicion of spying for Russia. The prosecutor’s office referred to them as "German-Russian citizens." One of the detainees is also suspected of participation in a plot for staging acts of sabotage. According to the prosecutor’s office, he reportedly photographed and videoed the movement of military equipment. According to the prosecutor's office, between December 2014 and September 2016, he was a member of a military unit of the Donetsk People’s Republic. He is suspected of participation in a foreign terrorist organization, as well as in preparations for a violent crime that poses a threat to state security. Both men are under arrest in a pre-trial detention center.

Following these detentions, Russian Ambassador Sergey Nechayev was summoned to the German foreign ministry. The ambassador pointed to German diplomat that "any unfriendly actions against Russia will not remain unanswered," the embassy said after his visit to the ministry. It slammed the German side’s demarche as "an open provocation, which is geared to whip up the already off-the-chart spy hysteria, fan the anti-Russian sentiment, continue to wreck Russian-German relations, justify Germany’s course toward unbridled militarization and flooding Ukraine with weapons and military hardware."

The Russian embassy has called attempts to probe into the alleged involvement of Russian special services in the development of rumored plans for attacks on military facilities in Germany "absurd and ridiculous."

On the following day, German Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Christian Wagner told a briefing that the ministry rejects Russia’s vision of the situation and its "threat of consequennces."