Israeli diplomat accused of spying in Russia sent back home

09:06, October 02, 2009      

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An Israeli diplomat has been accused of spying in Russia and forced to leave Moscow, an Israeli newspaper reported on Thursday.

A spokesman for Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed that the diplomat had returned to Israel, but he emphasized that the diplomat was not declared as a "persona non grata."

He said that both countries' foreign ministries are addressing the issue and trying to solve this problem.

Ma'ariv, a Hebrew language tabloid published in Israel, reported that the Israeli diplomat Shmuel Polishuk who served in Nativ, a governmental liaison agency in Moscow, were accused by the Russians of engaging in espionage.

Polishuk was apprehended by Russian security forces last week, unnamed foreign ministry officials told another Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

Nativ was established in 1952 with the main responsibility to encourage immigration of Jews in the former Soviet Union to Israel, and its activities were diminished after the fall of the Soviet Union, according to Israeli media.

The agency was ever part of the intelligence community before, while now under the Prime Minister's Office, said local newspaper The Jerusalem Post.

Source: Xinhua
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