British diplomats 'outed' as spies

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The Independent Online

The UK was accused of Cold War-style spying on Russia last night with four British diplomats "outed" as spies on Russian television.

The diplomats' names and biographies were broadcast by the Rossia channel, in a programme called Special Correspondent.

It was not clear if they had been expelled from the country. The British embassy declined to comment.

A Russian national who was apparently recruited to spy for Britain was also reported to have been arrested and to have made a full confession.

The chief allegation was that British diplomat-cum-spies were covertly financing human rights organisations which the Kremlin had long suspected of working against Russia's interests.

Russia's FSB security service was quoted as saying it had "caught" the diplomats engaged in espionage work on film after keeping them under surveillance for months. The operation took place late last year.

The situation is likely to damage Britain's relations with Russia.