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Ukraine expells Belarusian diplomat

Ukraine has expelled the Belarusian diplomat in response to Belarus' step to call the adviser of the Ukrainian Embassy in Belarus Igor Skvortsov persona non grata, said speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mariana Betz.

"Due to the fact that the Belarusian side declared persona non grata and expelled the Ukrainian diplomat, Ukraine, guided by the principle of reciprocity, also expelled the Belarusian diplomat from the country," Betz said.

At the same time, the Foreign Ministry did not specify the name of the diplomat as well as his position. At the same time, according to tradition, "retaliatory actions" provide for the expulsion of a diplomat with a similar position.

Yesterday it became known that Belarus declared persona non grata adviser of the Ukrainian Embassy Igor Skvortsov, because of the case of the detained journalist of Ukrainian Radio Pavel Sharoiko. Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus Igor Kizim said the Ukrainian diplomat left the territory of Belarus at the request of Minsk after October 25.

On November 20, the official representative of the KGB of Belarus, Dmitry Pobyarzhin, said that Pavel Sharoiko created an agent network among the citizens of Belarus "who, for a monetary reward, carried out his assignments to collect reconnaissance information in the military-political sphere." The Ukrainian was accused of espionage. According to Pobyarzhin, Sharoiko admitted that he is an employee of the military intelligence staff of Ukraine and worked in Belarus under cover.

MORE: Ukrainian journalist accused of spying against Belarus

Sharoiko's activities in Belarus, according to the KGB spokesman, were coordinated by Igor Skvortsov, an employee of the Main Intelligence Department of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, who acted under the guise of the adviser to the Ukrainian embassy. He was declared persona non grata.

Ukraine expells Belarusian diplomat