Russia has declared the aide to the defense attaché and naval attaché at the Italian Embassy, a persona non grata. He must leave the country within 24 hours, according to the press center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
These measures are taken “in response to the unfriendly and unjustified actions of the Italian authorities against the defense attaché office of the Russian Embassy in Rome. The staffer is ordered to leave Russia within 24 hours.”
According to DW, the Italian Foreign Ministry has expressed deep regret over the expulsion of the Italian diplomat.
"We consider the decision unfounded and unjust because it is in retaliation to a legitimate measure taken by the Italian authorities in defense of their own security," the Italian Foreign Ministry said in the response to Moscow's move.
In late March, Italy expelled two Russian diplomats after police said they had caught an Italian Navy captain passing secret documents to a Russian military official for money. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio wrote on Facebook that he had protested firmly to the Russian ambassador and informed him of the "immediate expulsion of two Russian officials involved in this extremely serious matter."