According to Espinosa, the employees of the Russian Embassy were deported on December 8. He did not specify the reasons for expulsion but underlined that considering the circumstances; the diplomats would not be able to return to Colombia for a long time.
It is noted that the expelled diplomats are suspected of espionage. The issue is about Aleksandr Paristov and Aleksandr Belousov. Both Russians held over two years in Colombia and were engaged in the recruiting of agents in Santiago de Cali, the city in the west of the country; they were also interested in the natural resource extraction. The authorities got the information about the suspicious activity of the Russians from the Administrative Department of Security. Besides, it is mentioned that Paristov works at the Foreign Intelligence Service; while the second expelled diplomat works at the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (ex-GRU).
In response, Moscow has expelled two Colombian diplomats.
As we reported, Bulgaria gave a Russian diplomat 72 hours to leave the country after prosecutors alleged he had been involved in espionage since 2017. The Russian diplomat is the sixth to be expelled by NATO member Bulgaria since October 2019 for suspected espionage.