Russia has thrown out a 25-year old British student for being a “spy.” Laura Mary Sumner, a history PhD student at the Nottingham University, was in Russia to do some research on Soviet rule between 1917 and 1921 in an archive in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod. But Russian authorities have branded her a “spy” due to her research interests. She has been accused of gathering information about revolutions and coups in the country.
Sumner was in Russia on business visa
The Nizhny Novgorod court has asked Ms Sumner to leave Russia within ten days, to which she agreed, reports Will Stewart of the Daily Mail. Russian authorities claimed that Sumner’s professor in Britain, Sarah Badcock, was engaged in work to create the necessary conditions for a revolution in Russia.
Quite surprisingly, it was the Russian Migration Service that took action against her. Usually, the FSB counter-intelligence agency takes action in espionage cases and deals with the suspected spies. A migration service spokesman told reporters that Laura Mary Sumner violated the Russian migration law. She was in Russia on a business visa. If her purpose was research, she could have applied for “scientific and technological” visa.
Russia bans Finnish investor for five years
Separately, Russia has barred a Finnish investor for five years. Seppo Remes, who sits on the board of several Russian utility companies including Rosseti, said in an interview Wednesday that Russian authorities have accused him of espionage. On March 22, Remes was officially notified that he had been declared persona non-grata until March 20, 2020.
Remes said he didn’t know why he was considered a security threat. He has denied allegations of collecting information on state electricity companies. Remes said his ban would further shaken the country’s business climate, which has been almost shattered by the economic sanctions. Moscow has increased its spy activity in Sweden by using its diplomatic staff as spies.