By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – Russia on Monday declared a Japanese consul persona non grata after the diplomat was caught red-handed receiving classified information about Russia.
Motoki Tatsunori, a consul of the Japanese Consulate General in the Russian Pacific Port city of Vladivostok, was detained on charges of espionage, the Russian Federal Security Service said.
Tatsunori was caught when he attempted to buy information with limited access about Russia’s cooperation with an Asian-Pacific country and the effects of the Western sanctions on the situation in Primorye in the Far East region, the security agency said.
The Japanese diplomat was declared persona non grata and a protest note was sent to the Japanese side through diplomatic channels, it added.
In a video published by the Russian security agency, the Japanese diplomat pleaded guilty.
In a separate statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed the expulsion, adding that the diplomat has to leave Russia within 48 hours.
Tasunori served as a consul on political affairs.
According to international rules, diplomats have immunity in the country where they work, but they can be deprived of the right to stay in case of hostile actions or violation of the law.
As follows from the Vienna Convention, the receiving state may at any time notify the sending state that the head of the mission or other diplomatic employee is persona non grata and that his stay in the country is unacceptable.