Ukrainian diplomat briefly detained, ordered to leave Russia

Ukraine’s foreign ministry said Saturday that Russia briefly detained one of its diplomats in St Petersburg, marking the latest instance of tension between the two countries.

According to Reuters, Oleksandr Sosoniuk was detained shortly after a meeting with a Russian citizen, with Russia accusing the Ukrainian official of attempting to get classified information from Russian databases.

Russia’s foreign ministry has since advised Sosoniuk to leave Russia within a matter of days, Reuters reported.

“This activity is incompatible with the status of a diplomatic employee and is hostile to the Russian Federation. The foreign diplomat will be dealt with in accordance with international law,” Russia’s FSB security service told Interfax news agency, Reuters reported.

Sosoniuk was reportedly held in custody for several hours. He has since returned to Ukraine’s consulate in St Petersburg, according to the news outlet.

Tensions between Kiev and Moscow have been heightened as Russia has increased its military buildup on the border.

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for peace negotiations between the two nations.

“The Ukrainian side will soon decide how to respond to this provocation, taking into account current practice,” Ukraine’s foreign ministry said of Sosoniuk’s detention,” he said at the time, Reuters reported.

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