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Dutch expulsion of alleged Russian spies a 'misunderstanding': Lavrov

AFP  |  Moscow 

Russian Sergei on Monday said the expulsion of four alleged Russian agents from the in April had been a "misunderstanding", calling their visit a "routine trip".

"There was nothing secret about the trip by our specialists to the Netherlands, it was a routine trip. They didn't hide when they checked into the hotel, or when they came to the airport, or when they went to our embassy," said during a press conference.

"They were detained without explanation... and asked to leave. It looked like a misunderstanding," he said, adding that there had been no diplomatic protests over the incident.

The said Thursday it had expelled four GRU military intelligence agents in April for plotting a cyber-attack on the world's in

The men entered the country on Russian diplomatic passports on April 10 and were caught red-handed on April 13 with a car full of in the next to the

Their passports and other details, including a taxi receipt for a trip to a Moscow airport from a street containing a branch of the military intelligence agency, were shown to the Dutch media.

confirmed his office would summon the Dutch over the issue on Monday.

"Yes, we are inviting the from the to bring his attention to this point of view... We will give more information (later)," he said.

Lavrov added that had already discussed the incident with The Hague's in September after Dutch media broke the over the Russians' expulsion, but nothing "coherent" had emerged from the discussion.

A further meeting between the Russian and Dutch authorities on October 3 had also failed to produce any "facts", the said.

"Once again we are dealing with a sort of loudspeaker diplomacy, a disregard for legal mechanisms" for resolving such disputes through proper channels, Lavrov said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 08 2018. 18:50 IST