The foreign ministry summoned the Russian envoy, Sergey Razov, on Wednesday after a Russian embassy official was allegedly caught paying an Italian Navy captain for classified documents.
"Regarding media reports on yesterday's operation by Carabinieri gendarmes ordered by the Rome public prosecutor's office, on the instructions of foreign minister Luigi Di Maio, the foreign ministry director-general Elisabetta Belloni called Russia's ambassador Sergey Razov to the ministry this morning," said a foreign ministry statement.
The Carabinieri said on Wednesday they have arrested the Italian Navy captain on spying charges.
The Russian official, a member of his country's armed forces stationed at the Russian embassy, has been held but his status is “under consideration”, said the statement.
Both suspects are accused of “serious crimes concerning espionage and state security," according to the statement.