Paris (Times Of Ocean)- France is expelling six Russians for alleged spying under diplomatic cover after its intelligence services uncovered a clandestine operation on its soil, the foreign ministry said on Monday.
In a statement, the foreign ministry said that six Russian agents operating under diplomatic cover whose activities were found to be counter-productive to our national interests had been declared persona non grata.
“A clandestine operation carried out by the Russian intelligence services on our territory” was disclosed by the DGSI on April 10 after a lengthy investigation.
The DGSI did not elaborate on the nature of the operation.
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According to the interior minister Gerald Darmanin tweet’s, the DGSI “had thwarted Russia’s clandestine agents who worked against our interests”.
The DGSI had carried out a “remarkable counter-espionage operation,” he said, and praised it for “looking after our fundamental interests in the shadows.”
The move comes after the French announced on April 4 that they were expelling 35 Russian diplomats as part of a joint European response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Those diplomats were described at the time as “Russian diplomats stationed in France whose activities are contrary to our security interests”.
AFP reported Monday that the six latest Russians to be expelled were in addition to the 35 already announced.
Several European countries have expelled Russian diplomats as a result of the outrage over the killings in Bucha near Kyiv, where dozens of bodies were discovered in mass graves or littering the streets.