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Spying game: Recent cases

Edmond Pope was later pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin  

MOSCOW, Russia -- If more than 40 diplomats are expelled from the U.S. it will be the biggest such move since "Operation Famish" in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan ordered out 80 Soviet diplomats.

The years since have also seen a number of similar cases involving alleged spies and tit-for-tat expulsions.

1991-1992 -- Norway expels nine Russian diplomats, the Netherlands and Belgium each expel four and Denmark expels one in a series of spying allegations.

1993 -- Australia expels six Russian diplomats. Poland expels another and Moscow responds by expelling a Polish diplomat.

February 1994 -- The United States expels a Russian diplomat in retaliation for Moscow's alleged payments to a spy at the CIA.

April 1994 -- Britain throws out a Russian diplomat in response to Moscow's expulsion of a man described as the head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service in Russia.

January 1996 -- Switzerland expels Russian diplomat from Moscow's Geneva U.N. mission.

1996 -- Moscow expels nine British diplomats it says are running a spy ring. Britain responds by expelling four Russians.

November-December 1997 -- American technician Richard Bliss held for a month on spying charges. Bliss worked for a U.S. firm using a satellite system to install mobile telephone equipment in the Russian town of Rostov-on-Don.

March 1998 -- Norway expels two Russian diplomats and bars three more from entering after accusing them of trying to recruit spies. Moscow responds by expelling two Norwegians.

In the same month, a Russian military court jails former major in the Strategic Rocket Forces for passing secrets to the United States. Another officer gets three years for spying for Israel.

July 1998 -- Russia expels South Korean diplomat Cho Sung-woo. Seoul responds by expelling a Russian diplomat. South Korean Foreign Minister Park Chung-soo resigns over the affair.

August 1998 -- Russia accuses Israel of harbouring a spy ring at its Moscow embassy.

October 13, 1998 -- Retired U.S. army intelligence analyst David Sheldon Boone arrested at a Washington hotel and charged with selling secrets to Moscow after an FBI sting.

July 1999 -- Russia expels U.S. diplomat amid hints of spying. Newspaper reports U.S. ambassador asked Russians to quietly cut back their spying efforts in the United States.

Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin says he discussed spying allegations at a meeting with U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

November 18, 1999 -- Russia's FSB domestic security service charges Igor Sutyagin, nuclear specialist at Moscow's USA and Canada Institute, with high treason, which covers spying.

November 29, 1999 -- U.S. military officials say they have charged U.S. Navy code breaker Daniel King with selling data to Moscow.

November 30, 1999 -- Russian security says second secretary in political section of the U.S. embassy was caught spying.

December 8, 1999 -- U.S. orders expulsion of Russian diplomat, saying he was monitoring listening device at the State Department.

January 20, 2000 -- Poland expels nine Russian diplomats for alleged spying. Moscow orders out nine Polish diplomats.

March 15, 2000 -- The FSB says it detained a Russian on charges of spying for Britain with Estonian help.

June 14, 2000 -- U.S. arrests retired Army Colonel George Trofimoff, highest ranking military officer charged with spying.

June 26, 2000 -- The FSB says it detained Russian of Lithuanian citizenship on charges he spied for United States.

December 6, 2000 -- Moscow court sentences retired U.S. navy intelligence officer Edmond Pope to 20 years for spying. Pope is later pardoned by President Vladimir Putin.

February 18, 2001 -- FBI agent Robert Hanssen is arrested on charges of selling secrets to Moscow over the last 15 years of his 25-year FBI career.

March 17 -- Bulgaria asks Russia to withdraw three diplomats suspected of spying. Russia hits back telling three Bulgarians to leave Moscow.

Visiting head of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Louis Freeh praises Bulgaria for the move.

March 21 -- A U.S. official says the United States is expelling about 50 Russian diplomats suspected of being intelligence officers.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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