Foreign Office Suspects Smear Campaign

The news from Russia about the Swedish diplomat that sold nylon tights in Moscow can be a reaction to an incident that happened last week. According to the news agency TT, the wife of a Russian diplomat was then arrested suspected of shoplifting.

But the pictures broadcast on the Russian news channel NTV on Monday evening are still hard to explain. Not only do they show him trying to sell the tights to a shop, but he is selling the tights directly from the boot of his car. TT quotes a source at the Foreign Office that describes the man as a good diplomat, but somewhat peculiar.

Officially, the Foreign Office does not want to comment the pictures more than saying that the Foreign office does not think the Russian representatives have not given a correct version of what happened.

"Unfortunately, it is not the first time that a competent and capable colleague at the embassy is affected by a public smear campaign, which we find repugnant and hard to understand," Foreign Office press officer Anders Jörle told TT, and indicated it has happened to diplomats from other countries before.

TT notes that the information regarding the shoplifting arrest in Stockholm comes from a source at the Foreign Office, and the agency has not yet been able to verify it.

The 35-year old Swedish diplomat will continue to work for the Foreign Office, but will start working in Stockholm by New Year.

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