RUSSIA/JAPAN: In Vladivostok, a port city on Russia’s Pacific coast, the FSB security agency announced on Monday that it had detained a Japanese consul for suspected espionage and ordered him to leave the country.
After being held by the Russian agency for a few hours, the consul was freed. According to Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Tokyo has expressed a “strong complaint” about the imprisonment and has hinted that it may react.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that the consul, Motoki Tatsunori, was designated persona non grata after being “red-handedly” captured acquiring classified material on the impact of Western sanctions on the economic situation in Russia’s the Far East.
In addition to discussing Russia’s cooperation with an unnamed Asia-Pacific nation, it claimed that the sensitive intelligence had been gained in exchange for a “financial reward.”
Through diplomatic channels, it was reported that Moscow had denounced Tokyo’s conduct to the consul.
According to Matsuno, the chief government spokesman for the Asian country, Moscow’s detention of the consul while blindfolding and detaining him was “clearly in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
The Russian ambassador to Japan was informed by the Japanese deputy foreign minister that Tokyo “needs to take equivalent steps” and demanded a formal apology from Moscow.
According to Matsuno, the detained consul was not involved in any illegal activity.
The released consul has not had any health issues and will leave Russia by Wednesday, according to Matsuno.
Along with the entirety of the European Union, the United States, and allies like the United Kingdom and Australia, Russia views the Asian country as a “hostile” nation.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Moscow and Tokyo have traded sanctions tit for tat.
Tokyo and Moscow had complicated relations even before the war. There is an island dispute between the two sides.
Since Russia refers to the Kurils and Japan as its “Northern Territories,” they have been unable to agree to a post-war peace treaty.
In its most recent penalties, the Japanese government on Monday barred the transfer of goods to 21 Russian organizations, including research labs, that could be used to make chemical weapons.
In response to a decision made by the Group of Seven Foreign Ministers last week, the action was accepted by the Cabinet.