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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Will Expel 2 Swedes

Russia declared two Swedish diplomats persona non grata Monday in what appeared to be retaliation for Sweden's expulsion of two Russian diplomats in connection with an espionage case involving the LM Ericsson wireless equipment maker.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Swedish ambassador had been informed of the decision, which it said was based on activities of the two diplomats that had brought "harm to the security interests of the Russian state." The diplomats were not identified.

Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh called Moscow's decision "sad."

"I really regret this. When we declare people persona non grata in Sweden, this is because they have been found guilty of something in Sweden," Lindh said in a radio interview Monday.

She said it was "sad that Russia is falling back into this type of old-fashioned foreign policy."

Last month, Swedish national security police detained three people, employees or former employees of Ericsson, after a suspect was allegedly caught in the act of handing over secret company material to a foreign intelligence agent. The other two were accused of helping to gather material, police said.

The Federal Security Service warned last month that Russia was considering expelling Swedish diplomats.