Spy incident “will damage Russian-Swedish relations”

The arrest of the Russian researcher who is suspected of spying in Sweden will influence Russian-Swedish relations, said Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

“We emphasise that we view what has happened with the utmost seriousness. It must be understood that this sort of incident cannot avoid influencing our relations with Sweden,” wrote the ministry in a statement on its web site.

A 29 year old Russian researcher was taken into custody on Friday on suspicion of espionage. The man is said to have spied for another country and so damaged Sweden’s overall defence or the national security. The prosecutor on the case did not reveal which country is supposed to have received information from the man.

The man is a guest researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, where for two years he has studied viruses which affected plants.

“We have requested that the Swedish authorities explain the incident. Representatives of the Russian embassy in Stockholm have met the man, who has the necessary consular assistance,” wrote Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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