Reciprocity: Ukraine removes Belarusian diplomat amid spy scandal


In response to Belarus’ declaring Ukrainian diplomat Ihor Skvortsov persona non grata, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expelled an employee of the Belarusian Embassy in Kyiv.

“In connection with information on declaring an employee of the Ukrainian Embassy in Belarus persona non grata, we would like to note that the Ukrainian side has removed a Belarusian diplomat from Ukraine side in accordance with the reciprocity principle,” Mariana Betsa, Spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told news agency UNIAN.

She failed to reveal the name of the expelled diplomat or any other details.

As reported earlier, UA: Ukrainian Radio employee Pavlo Sharoiko was arrested in Minsk in late October. The police raided the apartment where Pavlo and his family were staying.

“Pavlo Sharoiko, an officer of Ukraine’s military intelligence, was detained on October, 25. He worked undercover as a radio correspondent. In Belarus, Sharoiko created a spy network of the citizens of Belarus who carried out his tasks on collecting intelligence information in the military and political sphere,” Belarus KGB spokesman DzmitryPabyarzhynsaid on Monday.

According to him, Sharoiko admitted that he is an employee of the Main Intelligence Directorate Ministry of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine.

Sharoiko’s work was coordinated by Ihor Skvortsov, who ‘acted under the guise of the Ukrainian embassy counselor in Belarus’, Pabyarzyn said.

Skvortsov was declared persona non grata and expelled from Belarus.

Ukrainian government agencies has repeatedly refuted the claim by the KGB of the alleged involvement of Pavlo Sharoiko in espionage and his being an intelligence officer.


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